Hayride overturns in Perkins Twp.; 28 people injured

(Updated 11 a.m. Sunday) Dozens of people were injured late Saturday after a hayride overturned on Patten Tract Road south of Bogart Road in Perkins Township. The driver of the hayride is charged with drinking and driving, among other charges.
Sandusky Register
Oct 23, 2011

(Updated 11 a.m. Sunday) Dozens of people were injured late Saturday after a hayride overturned on Patten Tract Road south of Bogart Road in Perkins Township. The driver of the hayride is charged with drinking and driving, among other charges.

Perkins emergency personnel responded to a call at 10:37 p.m. of a hayride that had overturned in the 6200 block of Patten Tract Road.

Twenty-eight people were injured in the overturn, investigators later confirmed.

Capt. Steve Reiderman, of the Perkins Fire Department, said victims were being treated for bumps, bruises and possible broken bones.

Victims still were being tended to and transported at 11:30 p.m. Eight victims were taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center, two were taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center and six were taken to The Bellevue Hospital. Emergency vehicles still filled the road as of 11:50 p.m.

Two passengers from Castalia later had to be transported from Bellevue Hospital by medical helicopter to Mercy St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo for serious injuries. They were Ruben Cruz Jr. and Raynoldo Cruz.

Jeff Matter, 47, of Milan, who participated in the event, estimated there were about 120 people on the hayride. That's an accurate count, according to the Patrol, which said that about 30-40 people were in each trailer.

Three caged trailers were being pulled as part of the hayride. The first two were being pulled by a tractor, and the third followed and was being pulled by a truck. The second trailer being pulled by the tractor turned over on the right side of Patten Tract Road, where it still sat at 11:50 p.m.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the driver of the tractor, Michael L. Hermes refused to take a field sobriety test and was arrested by troopers for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He was not injured in the overturn. He was taken to the Sandusky post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, where a warrant was issued to draw blood from him for alcohol tests to be performed at the Patrol's crime lab.

Hermes, 47, was also charged with aggravated vehicular assault, open container and failure to control and jailed at the Erie County jail. He's scheduled to appear in Sandusky Municipal Court at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The crash is still under investigation by the Patrol, and the names, health status and addresses of the 28 injured people is still being compiled.

Check sanduskyregister.com and read Monday's edition for updates.



     I was also listening to the scanner last night, and felt that the incident was handled quite well, Personnel from several area departments worked together professionally and efficiently to care for the injured. A sincere thank you to everyone involved.

     There is one question I must ask SR. Why did it take until 11:00 am. to update this story??? If you picked up the story by listening to the scanner, you would have heard that there were 28 victims. Just another fine example of accuracy by our Sandusky Register!




 Friend I couldn't agree with you more.  Scare tactitcs to keep the union on top.  While I am working till I am 67 years old, union members get to not only retire at age48 but come back while retired and take jobs away from our kids while putting nothing into the ol retirement funds.


 Maybe someone can clear this up. I heard the Mason Jar sponsored this even. Don't Hermes' own the Mason Jar? Wouldn't you think, that if you are driving a bunch of people in a hay ride, bar hopping in an event you sponsored, you would have a sober driver? I know he's allegedlydrunk, but I'm sure there was a reason they suspect that.   How irresponsible. Regardless of road conditions.  You shouldn't drink or drive anyway, but when you have this many people?  I hope everyone is o.k. especially the 2 life flighted.



 drink and drive, not drink or drive. sorry.


screaming mimi

My thought and prayers to ALL who were involved in this unfortunate turn of events. It's always tragic when something that was supposed to be fun ends like this. EVERYONE who was part of this hayride was there willingly and with no doubt with alcohol coarsing through their veins. Did they plan on this happening ?? NO...that's why it's called an ACCIDENT!!


Driving drunk is a choice, not an accident!  It does not matter that EVERYONE who was a part of the hayride was their willingly and drinking.  What matters is the driver should not have been.  Period, end of story.  Why is it that some amongst us believe they are above the law?  Blame it on the pavement, blame it on any number of things, except where the real blame lies.  Michael Hermes is a drunk driver. 

Check out the police report from 30 days ago where he hit a parked vehicle, left the scene, then claims he didn't feel the collision when confronted by the police. 

The Hermes family is going to need your prayers when the lawsuits start flying. 


Reporters don't rely on the scanner for facts. Scanner traffic is often not accurate. The emergency personnel at the scene gave a different number of people injured. Later, this morning, when the Ohio State Highway Patrol issued a preliminary report, that's when the additional details became available. As for those who like to berate Register reporters and photographers for simply working hard to do their jobs ... you don't have to read or comment on any Register stories. You won't find better local news anywhere, but good luck trying.


       You are absolutely correct that scanner traffic is not always accurate, but why were Toledo and Cleveland news reporting the numbers before SR? They were obviously able to confirm the numbers before broadcast.  When I heard the numbers on the news, I immediately went to SR site to confirm, but it still showed 16 injured.

       I understand that I don't have to read or comment on any Register stories, but it is certainly my right to do so. Also, I do read SR for local news, have done so for many years, and will continue to look there for local issues. I won't shut up and go away just because you don't like my opinion.

       By the way, I certainly did not say, or imply, that Register reporters and photographers were not hard working, decent people. I'm quite sure that they work hard for their paychecks just like most everyone else.







Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling

Choices...choices..it's all about choices. As bad as this is, it could have been catastrophic in scope. Prayers to the familes involved. I don't have much sympathy for drunks. He needs his license suspended for life.

Does anyone know if this was a private hayride or was this something Hermes Winery possibly offered to the public?


actually *friend* if SB5 passes it will effect our firefighters. they know better than anyone else how many men they need to safely operate if a crisis happens, passing 5 takes away their right to bargin the number of men on duty giving the government control..in other words politicians who have never stepped foot inside a firehouse  are making important decisions, that could affect the lives of many. *i only hope that those of you who would vote yes on issue 2 never find yourself in a situation where the shortage of firemen on duty decides your fate.

*protect those who protect you. vote NO on issue 2*


Glad that no one was killed, sad that there were injuries.

What also saddens me is how Hemes 5th amendment rights were violated. Think about it, his blood, yes HIS BLOOD was forced to testify against him.

I know the arguments both ways, but I don't like loosing any rights and I feel this definatly violates our rights. How come the law states that we have the RIGHT to refuse but its of no effect when the courts can circumvent our right to the 5th? 


Most Wanted

Blacktigress....I'm not quite sure of the circumstances last night but if the Mason Jar sponsored this event and I chose to go on it should I not have the expectation that the driver will be sober?  Now that I ended up being life flighted to a hospital, do I not have the right to know if the hired help was driving drunk?  Whose rights take priority here?  Just wondering...I understand rights, but I think the injured persons rights take priority here.


 Good point Most Wanted.

FYI: Kasick's budget is in effect. The cuts have taken place. The community was well served. Exactly why should we allow these workers rights to be violated? Thank you LE and health professionals.

Who do you trust? The people who serve you? Or the politicians who wrote and voted for the bill? 


Reva: Not all union members get to retire at age 48 (not sure where you heard that number). Teachers in Ohio must teach 35 years or to age 60. Assuming they graduate from college at age 22, thirty-five years takes them to age 57, and most do NOT retire just to return to the classroom and double-dip. By contrast, those in our armed forces usually get to retire after 20 years (approx. age 40), don't they? That includes the many who never saw combat, and worked in other capacities. If we don't have any problem subsidizing the retirements of these important government workers, why should we have any problem doing the same for other public sector workers?  Public sector union members are taxpayers too, and as such, are subsidizing their own salaries and benefit (which private sector union workers don't have to do). In addition, public union members also purchase goods and services from the private sector, and in effect, are helping support the salaries of private sector workers.  Please DO not fall into the private vs. public union battle - by doing so, you're playing right into the hands of the people who invented this issue: the rich, the management.   Middle class and unions are NOT the cause of our state's money problems.


 Good post -  don't forget that teachers pay into their OWN retirement.  That pays for THEIR retirement.  And if they have another job that also pays into Social Security - they DO NOT get their social security like everyone else.  Is that fair?  They pay into a system that they don't get a return from. Worse than a ponzi scheme if you ask me.



 Good post -  don't forget that teachers pay into their OWN retirement.  That pays for THEIR retirement.  And if they have another job that also pays into Social Security - they DO NOT get their social security like everyone else.  Is that fair?  They pay into a system that they don't get a return from. Worse than a ponzi scheme if you ask me.



 I have never heard of this hayride event..Does the hayride REALLY give people rides to bars?


I was told the Mason Jar had this event.



Issue 2 isn't even the point right now.  This has been a bad week as far as tragedies are concerned.  We have missing boaters, and people injured in an accident on a hayride.  We are not here to judge.  I don't know about the rest of you people, but I am just praying for ALL FAMILY MEMBERS involved in these incidents.  I thought I had problems, but after this week my problems are minor compared to the families involved in these tragedies. 


 Hey Coz,


 I know first hand, as  I'm a firefighter.  Our dept has won numerous awards for our service.  Oh, and we're not union.  No need for it.  Top notch equipment, plenty of guys, couldn't ask for anything more or better.  


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained lengthy or off-topic excerpts from other websites. Discussion Guidelines


Prayers go out to all of the people involved here!


Although I know this is not the place~I have to say REVA~I have NO idea where you get your information~if all of us union workers retire at 48~I'm wondering what in the world I am still doing working at my age!  : \

Thats the problem~MOST people do not even have a clue as to what they are talking about~AND they vote!   AND then they wonder what is wrong with the world today~~geeeesh.  Maybe you need to read COASTERFANS (and others) blog~you might learn something!

Again~I hope all will be well with the people of this tragedy.  GOD bless.



 Local radio is as vague as the print.  When Andy Dunn was murdered, every other radio, t.v & paper in Ohio were calling Randleman by name- WLEC were still calling him the "alleged shooter" a day later.

In this case as well as local radio, if a major local news story breaks on the weekend, you won't get credible facts 'til Monday morning.  Reporters aren't paid enough or could care less to come in on their weekend off.

That's "The Dud" for ya.




Hey friend ff.........so  you like guys.......big deal.


friend- so what you meant was issue2 will not affect you.. a firefighter who is not part of a union. so what about the firemen who ARE in a union, like my 2 family members? you more than anyone should understand how union departments would be affected if issue 2 passes. what if your department was part of a union? maybe you'd be singing a different tune then.. just something to think about.  *i appoligize for writing about this issue on an article that has nothing to do with politics. clearly, whats important here is everyone that was involved. thoughts and prayers to all that were injured.

Norma J-C

fyi, the norwalk reflector site has a picture of the alleged driver

Kottage Kat

How did we get from a tragic hayride accident to SB5?? Just askin? 


@ blacktigress.....

For your information, it is a PRIVILEGE to drive in our state, not a RIGHT. There are laws that go along with that privilege. Obey them, or don't. When something like this happens, the courts and the BMV can take away that privilege. Better yet, let 12 jurors decide on 28 counts of Vehicular Assault because the driver responsible was impaired. This could have been a worse tragedy than it already is. My sympathies go out to the victims and hope they fully recover. Our public servants never get the credit they deserve, unless you need them.


 @ safecracker...If everyone including LE & EMS in this state turned in their driver's license & sold their cars & shut off their auto insurance, THEN come on here & tell me it is such a "privilege" to drive. They would be begging Ohioans to drive.  I don't feel too "privileged" to have a mandatory insurance law, a seat belt law & goody goodies coming on here reminding me how corrupt the system is around here. 

Another thing: Taking away a person's drivers license for not paying child support is the most idiotic thing I've ever heard.  That just gives the dead beat more of a reason to sit & be lazy in jail & sponge off me!  "Oh, poor me, now I can't drive, so I can't work & I'm in jail-might as well give up & be like the rest of the dead beats". That's their mentality.