Hermes pleads guilty to hayride crash charges

A man accused of causing a drunken hayride crash that injured dozens of passengers last year pleaded guilty to 16 criminal charges last week.
Jessica Cuffman
Nov 17, 2012


Michael Hermes, 48, could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison for the 15 counts of assault and single charge of operating a vehicle under the influence, according to court documents.

Click HERE to see photos of the crash scene and the initial story of the hayride crash.

Pick up Saturday’s Register to find out what’s next for Michael Hermes.




Still dont understand how it is legal to ride in a wagon on the road with booze


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Personal information.


Eight years is too extreme. No one tied those people up and forced them to ride on the hayride. They drank with him at the bar so they knew he was under the influence. They could have opted out at any time and called a taxi. Not saying it was excusable just saying eight years is too much.







Really are you ...

And his businesses had gotten raided recently.

Brick Hamland

He, nor the hermes family as a whole has nothing to do with that business. The owner who is in bankruptcy uses the name to attract local patrons. get your facts strait before you post. It is better to stay silent and be presumed a fool than open your mouth and prove. Happy Thanksgiving.


Ok, so where are all his defenders who were on here before saying that he was innocent and to wait until the truth came out? How's the crow taste? For dessert you can follow up with a huge slice of humble pie!


Are you saying we should string people up in the town square before the truth came out? As far as i know this is America where people ARE innocent until proven guilty. Not sure where you are trying to go with this, BUT the system is set up to protect people from over reactive zealots who want to condemn people before they are even given a trial.


WTF ever Randy. He is right and you know it. There were the usual self righteous commenters on here when this happened but where are they now? You Cons always go the extreme when it's time for you to pay the piper but your type sure seems to want to string up others. How does it feel?


Right in what sense? That we should skip the trial and not wait for the facts before throwing them in jail? Come on, The guy was drunk went to trial and lost. I actually agree with that part, He should be sentenced according to his crime AFTER the trial NOT before because some overzealous random person says so.


I don't get what you are saying. He should be sentenced according to the law. Who put this man in jail prematurely? ??????????????


I was responding to the quote "so where are all his defenders who were on here before saying that he was innocent and to wait until the truth came out?"
Are we to prejudge everything and not defend people till they are convicted in a court of law? What exactly is so bad about waiting till the truth comes out?


The day the story broke, the police report said he was driving the tractor while drunk and that his wife was throwing his empties into a field. I mean, what else did you really need to know? I'm not saying people don't have a right to a fair trial, merely responding to the arrogance of a few people who acted like there was some big conspiracy to get him and that Mr Hermes wouldn't dare do such a thing.


He did not go to trial. He copped a plea.

Phil Packer

48? Do I look that old?


I agree with doppleganger. Drunk driving is horrible, but at least half of these people drive drunk. Not excusing just saying. People get lucky and don't get caught, I think Randy_Marsh has a good point. Ye who is without sin cast the first stone. If his name were Jones no one would give it a second thought. I believe he did the wrong thing, but 8 years is crazy.


i just like how some of the people who wanna file lawsuits are lazy kbi workers that have played there medical card in hopes of makin a quick buck. as far as i m concerened they chose to get on the wagon and ride from bar to bar did you really think a hermes was not gonna drink at a bar. you chose to ride so deal with what happened and move on why always try and make money off accidents


Sorry, but the only one who committed a crime is the driver. Sure, people who knew he was drinking probably should have opted for a cab the rest of the way home. But alcohol impairs judgment (among other things). Isn't that one reason drunk DRIVING is illegal?

It's operating under the influence that's the issue here, NOT making dumb decisions under the influence. If the latter were a crime, I'm pretty sure just about ALL of us would have done time!




Doppelganger one of them has some serious medical issues now.I call that justice because of their greed. Nothing to do with hayride accident. (he joined in on lawsuit) You are right; they drank with him & knew alcohol was/would be consumed. Attn. young people....drunks aren't your friends


The people who were on this hayride got on that wagon knowing that Mr Hermes was drinking. Heck, they were buying him drinks!

Phil Packer

I'm freuckin hammered ritght now;


I remember reading about this. They do it every year. Usually the same people. They all drink and I think someone early posted they buy the driver drinks. Nice friends when money involved. I think they should throw it out of court and buy him a new wagon.


Murderers get less time than eight yrs.

Whiskey Tango F...

only mistake that i see is that he was drinking. Now had he chosen heroin, or meth, we would help this poor troubled man find the right path in life. Slap on the wrist and don't ever do it again. Unfortunately Mr Hermes decided to select alcohol and have a career with an income. Now we can pick up the book and throw it at him. I'm not defending his choices that he made that evening, i am pissed about the double standard in our system. The jails are full let them go... Whats that you say? he has a job and can actually pay the fines? Well then, lets make an example here and take his livelyhood. set a crackhead free and make a vacancy it's time for justice!


Oh the comics of people who have no idea what they are talking about. First let me say the Mike Hermes is in no way involved with Hermes Winery. That Hermes isn't even related. His wife is a distant relative by the name of Hermes. He slapped that name on the winery when the Hermes Farm burnt down hoping to capitalize on some of the sympathy. And secondly-the old saying-it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. My first thought was what a bad idea this was. Drunks jumping on and off a wagon going down the road, etc. Does he have a previous DUI thus resulting in the possible 8 year sentence? People look that old when they live the hard fast life. I highly doubt this will reduce the "entire" family from the excesses of alcohol they consume.

Just Thinkin

Hermes family are good people, mistakes happen, eight years? how many died and what other crime was commited ?. lets put the people in Sandusky away for the gun crimes for eight years not slap them on the hand, the law needs to be fair and just.

Julie R.

Compare this guy that could get up to 8 years for operating a vehicle under the influence to that Clinton monster that only got 8 years for raping and strangling to death an 18-year-old.

I do so think that the entire system needs a major overhaul.

Brick Hamland

good point julie

2cents's picture

He won’t get eight years, I hope all the people partying with him understand they were having a good time as well and things went bad! Let his insurance pay the medical bills and associated expenses, there should be no windfalls (pun intended) for the riders, they were in on it as well, open container on the road!

I hope he looks in the mirror and thinks twice about what excessive alcohol in one’s life can do, how it can destroy it from right under your feet. Remember Step 1, if not then those bars and orange jump suits get pretty scary when you ignore all the signs.


Drunk driving is drunk driving no matter what way you cut it. When you drink and drive you commit a crime. There is no way out of it. That applies to any moving vehichle you are driving, including this motorized tractor pulling a haywagon. He knew full well he should NOT be doing it. He rolled the dice like any other drinking driver and he lost.

When you take the chance and lose, you pay the price. He may not do the full eight years, but he will have to pay some of the time of a sentence. I give the guy credit for taking responsibiity by taking the plea deal. He didn't try to weasle out of it. He stood up to his responsibility and for that he should be commended. But I bet he never does this again.

It should be a lesson to all. Just don't drink and drive....anything. It is just plain stupid to blame those who were in the wagons and drinking. They had no control over their fate, they were not driving, but they too, should have learned a lesson. Don't get into anything with someone who is drinking, either.

Lessons learned all around I would think. This is over for one and all. At least for those concerned. I give the guy credit ofr standing up for his mistakes.


I'd be SHOCKED if he got any prison time. I agree that eight years is too harsh but he did commit a crime. It was pure luck no one was killed. I also agree with those that place some responsibility on those that knowingly got on the ride. What kind of example were any of those involved trying to set?

sheldog 44

you have got to be kidding me on an 8 yr sentence! we know the hermes family personaly and they are people who would never intentionaly harm another human being. every person on that hayride where there to party, it was at a BAR! look at the child molestors (eddie) are looking at mayb a cpl yrs or more likely probation. what a judical system we have