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 wonder how much the driver of the hay ride had to drink? How much will this ride cost the owners of the "Hay Ride Booze Cruise"? There were some serious injuries that occurred from this. I am very upset by the events that took place tonight!  When the whole story comes out on this you will be also.     Thank You for the blankets and all the kind help from the neighbors that came out to help the injured! 


 I am glad to hear that there were no life- threatening injuries.

2cents's picture
Hope everyone will be ok, seems like a lot of people packed onto three wagons!   On another note this may be a good place to comment about the newer blue and red lights law enforcement is using on top of their cars. Has anyone notice that they are now so bright that they have become a danger in themselves! Yep, just too damn bright when sitting parked at a traffic stop or accident. I came upon one of many a traffic stops and sorry but almost hit the officer because the intensity of the lights blinded me as I approached. I sure hope someone in LE reads this and passes it along to their vendors because the technology being there to blast the light down the road has now made their lives more vulnerable to being struck by a blinded driver. There is a payoff for being seen at a distance but in my eyes that boundary has now changed hands. I am sure the vendor can supply the system with a power reduction switch of say 50% for when the chase is over and the cruiser is parked. Hmm! calling patent attorney now, LOL   Play safe out there guys, I am sure a little alcohol was involved on that hay ride.   Just saying!
Just Thinkin

Prayer's out to all the family and friends


Get real. On what planet are the lights of an officer's cruiser to blame for your reckless driving?!!!  Emergency lighting has become that bright do to people not recognizing the need for caution early enough and too many emergency personnel and vehicles being struck.  No arguement can be made against the fact that if you approach any scene with flashing lights, no matter how bright, with proper caution and at a low enough speed, you should be at no risk of striking anyone on scene.  I understand that there is inherent danger and certain circumstances beyond human control at any emergency scene, but, flashing lights do not qualify as either.  Take some personal responsibility, put on your big boy pants, and drive like a grown up who understands that not everything exists to accomodate your lack of common sense.  Really.



Board of Commissioners - Bill Monaghan, Thomas M. Ferrell, Jr, Patrick Shenigo IS this one of THOSE SHORT CUTS, NOT FINISHED ROADS? FELL off the side? No warning signs?


My question is considering a motorized vehicle was involved in this accident was a field sobriety test performed at the time on the driver of the vehicle that was pulling the wagon that turned over?  And if not why not.


My question is considering a motorized vehicle was involved in this accident was a field sobriety test performed at the time on the driver of the vehicle that was pulling the wagon that turned over?  And if not why not.

Forward Looking

 We had trouble last night turning around near the scene of the accident.  Without knowing what happened, we guessed that the one of the wagons fell over the cliff of asphalt that is left after the road resurfacing project.  There are some areas that are 12"+ drops from road surface to grade below.  If one of those wagons was wagging a little bit and got one of its tires over the edge, then you would have the result of last night.  Hopefully this project is not considered complete because it is dangerous and anyone could fall victim to the drop off at the road edge...imagine what it would be like in the winter.  This needs to be fixed and soon...


 Register, FYI, ALL of Patten Tract Rd. is South of Route 2.  It's like saying a stretch of 250 South of Lake Erie.

Castalia Gal

These hayrides have been going on way before any of us were around.  All of a sudden one just turns over all by itself?  Come on!  I am wondering if someone did some swerving to spice up the ride a little.  There is more to this and I hope the results of the investigation will be reported instead of being swept under the carpet, out of sight, out of mind.  Everyone is beginning to do the usual liberal BLAME.  How about those "bright" lights on police cars?  Here is a tip.  Do NOT stare at them.  How hard is that?  The wagon turned over because of the "unfinished" roads?  It is the BLAME of the county commissioners?  If that is the case, then WHY aren't ALL vehicles turning over on Patton Tract Rd.?  Hey, Sandusky Register, Patten Tract is NOT close to Ohio 2.  How about Patten Tract between W. Bogart and Fox Rd.?  The "B" team must be on call at the Register.  Ha! Ha!           

Erie Countian

Thanks for the informative link, Castalia Gal. How come WOIO can provide this info but our LOCAL paper cannot?!  Pretty pathetic that the driver was drunk and driving a trailer full of people.

I Judge you

Get em Son!

Julie R.

I wouldn't want to be in the driver's shoes right now.


Hauling two trailers at once doesn't look like a bright idea especially with the load you are hauling. 

run for the hills's picture
run for the hills

I was listening to the scanner throughout the entire incident. I was very impressed on how smooth this tragic event was handled by all involved. This could have been much more tragic and can only wonder one thing. The hospitals were well staffed and were able to handle the injuries that occured. I realize that this is a political statement, but if SB 5 was already in place and contracts had been in place to where cuts had taken place already, would the staffing levels of our police departments, fire departments and hospitals been able to not only handle this event, but perhaps an even more tragic event? If you were one of the injured or one of your family members had been injured, would you want well staffed departments on all levels? This is an example of how events like this should be handled. A job well done by all involved last night, but if SB5 is allowed to go through, tragic events like this could be worse because of cut backs. Hopefully everyone injured recovers quickly and again thanks to all the first responders and the hospitals involved in treating the injured.


 Run for the hills.... Do your research before posting about SB 5 .. As none of the area hospitals around here are union and will not be affected!!  Educate yourself. 


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines


 I agree w/ 2cents that these lights are too bright. I was pulled over one night for going 43 in a 40 (GO FIGURE) by the Highway Patrol & he had his flashers & spot beam on & purposely had his spot beam shining in my mirror. He asked me suspiciously why I was squinting & I said because that flood light is shining right in my eyes blinding me. And LE wonders why some people are rude to THEM when pulled over. @ The tank: Who said anyone else was driving reckless? I've driven by accidents & have to look the other direction because of the intensity of these giant flashers. I prefer the old fashioned rotating lights anyway.  Morons should not twist stories to accommodate their redneck attitudes or jump to conclusions. These flashers look likr they're manufactured by the same people who make lighting rigs for night clubs.

As for the hay ride I know someone who was on it & the trailers were WAAAY overloaded. The way cops are in this area I'm surprised victims were not charged with public intox as they lay beside the road.  




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 run for the hills, which union do you belong to?  It's obvious because you don't even know the facts about it.  FIRST, none of the hospitals around here would be affected.  Secondly, the firefighters and police would be able to do everything exactly the same.  The only people scared by SB5/Issue 2 are the unions taht would lose power.

run for the hills's picture
run for the hills

I do not belong to any union and have no connections with unions. As for your statement that local hospitals would not be effected by this legislation, why would they be different from any other hospital. How could the firefighters and police departments be able to do the same if they are undermanned and they will be if this is allowed to pass. Please remove yourself from your fantasy world. Hopefully, you will not need a well staffed team in the future. I challenge you to actually read the entire bill and please do not say you have. Know the facts before you speak or post.


I have a complaint too. The sun is just too damn bright. For some reason, if I look directly at it while driving, I almost hit other cars and pedestrians. This is just uncalled for. Does the sun really need to be that bright?  I've even been told that if you look at the sun for too long, you can go blind. Something must be done about this. 

Just Saying

Um yep, sunglasses


 Thanks to PROFESSIONAL reporters fron Fox 19 Action News for giving a CLEAR & non-vague version of what happened, including names & a mugshot. No thanks to the Register (as usual), yet while still rubber banded, the Sunday Edition does make a good scratching post.

Kenny V





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From the information I have gathered. I would have to say the tractor driver as many farmers do, seen approaching traffic and pulled off to the side of the road to let traffic pass safely. In turn with Patton Tract Rd just being resurfaced and built up several inches, along with all the rain we have gotten as of late softening the shoulder of the road intern causing the rear trailer to flip.

These hayrides have been going on for years. This incident could have been much worse, considering more trailers used for hayride are flat bed trailers without the cages on them. If this would have happened to one of those trailers people would have been more seriously injured.

My prayers are with all of those involved in this incident.



First of all...I hope everyone recovers from this accident. Second, if the road has recently been resurfaced and there is a drop off, then I can see this happening. I can also see the trailers weaving back and forth. I have traveled the turnpike and watched some UPS (and other) trucks that pull three tailers weaving. Now to the subject of lights. I have not really noticed the patrol cars lights being to bright, but I do have an issue with the cars with the Halogan lights. When they are coming at me, I am ok, until they get close, then I am also blinded. I was always taught to look at the side of the road, but even that doesn't help with these lights. Some drivers are extra sensitive to bright lights, just as some cannot hear as good as others. We need to remember that.


It is not the roads falt when a drunk driver swerves back and forth for fun and loses control of a trailer with people in the wagon that trusted to get them back and forth to the bars safely. 


     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

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.


  I'm glad there were no fatal injuries and hope everyone's injuries heal quickly.  People just trying to have a good time doing what has gone on for years.  To bad that this one incident will probably be making hay rides a thing of the past.

   I voiced my opinion years back when the OSP went to brighter lights and witnessed an increase in patrol car accidents.  I don't to see lights more thab a mile away.  It's very hard to judge your distance at night (I have 20-20 vision).  I slow from 65 to 35-40 and don't seem to close the distance, next thing you are right on the scene, and "NO" I'm not looking away, I keep my eyes on the road.

   I would really like to know where the teachers get the money to put into their retirement????  Do they hunt it, like mushrooms??  Dig it up, like potatos????  Grow it, like corn???  Pick it from trees, Like apples???   Or do you think just maybe,  it comes from taxes and levies that is paid to them??? 

The injury reports keep adding up. There is a girl that was hurt in the ride with a vertebra in her neck that is broken. She was told today she may need surgery and will not able to return work. Her life is now in shambles! She is a single mother that works hard to provide for her son. This is truly sad… My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved.  

Why would he not keep the tractor on the farm only; instead,  he ventures out on the road at night.  He could have been hit by a car without proper lights, etc..

Darwin's choice

 Sheeple packed in those wagons.........some poor judgement all around........


@ Water Street   I highly doubt in my lifetime that everyone will sell their cars and  turn in their drivers licenses, so until then it is still a privilege. I don't make the laws, nor do I agree with all of them. But if I want to drive without consequences, I have to obey them. I don't chose to ride a bicycle around with winter coming. I've never heard of anyone getting their driving "rights" back, but I think you can get your driving "privileges" back if you ever lose them. Here's something I found for you from http://www.duiattorney.com/dui-basics/privilege-to-drive  if you care to read it.

"It is common misconception that any person in the United States has a right to drive. There is no such right in the US Constitution.  Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, and that privilege can be taken away or modified based on certain conduct, including several issues surrounding drunk driving cases.  We all have a Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but not to drive.   Once a person accused of impaired driving understands this, it is much easier to understand why many of the procedural and constitutional safeguards do not apply in regards to driving a motor vehicle following a DWI or DUI arrest.

Despite the fact that driving is a privilege, it is one that can't be removed with some form of due process. Most often, that process comes in the form of an administrative hearing in front of a DMV administrative law judge.

Your ability to drive may be directly tied to your ability to make a living. The laws and processes surrounding your privilege to drive in DUI cases are complex and contain many pitfalls.  If you have been accussed of DUI, more is at stake than your driving privilege."

Again, I didn't write the law, I just chose to keep my privilege.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines


I think first of all people need to take a hard look in the mirror before they start throwing stones or passing judgement onto others! The driver was not the one putting the hayride on....nor was he the one that loaded all of the willing people onto the wagons. Regardless if the wagons were overloaded...not his fault! The driver did not intend to hurt anyone. The news and media are ridiculous. The mug shot makes it out like he is a hard criminal. Come on...anyone that knows Mike personally knows that is not true. Mike Hermes is a good man!!! 

Yes...there are some Hermes' that own the Mason Jar.......Not all of them!!!!

Patten Tract was just paved recently and there is a huge drop off on the edge. Has anyone thought this may have casued the trailer to flip!

People should start opening there hearts and not their big mouths! Prayers to anyone involved including the driver!


Hey FactsOnly.  Lots of "good men" are alcoholics.   


So I guess someone forced alcohol down his throat???  You need help!


LOL @ Facts Only! You just signed up to post on this site today!  Go figure!  Are you MIke?  LOL! 

All taken

 Was the people on the wagon drinking with the driver? The news said they had already been to 2 bars. How could they not know he was drunk or under the influence? They got on the wagons even though they knew he was drinking so why is it just his fault? They were drinking on the wagon so they are just as much to blame as him. There shouldn't be any lawsuits, they all were willing to drink and ride.


And what if the tables were turned and a drunk driver had injured a member of the Hermes family?  Would they be so understanding of the "accident"?  Get real people.  Take responsibility for your actions.  It's time to grow up already. 

Just Thinkin

@ FACT ONLY, Well spoken Mike as well as  the whole Hermes Clan Are Fine people and mistakes are made things happen, Good Luck to all

Marcus M

A drunken driver pulling two wagons, with I assume people who also were drinking while  bar hopping, who could not see a problem with that?


I love how no one wants to take any responsibility for their own actions anymore.  Sure, go out and drink and drive.  Everyone should know that you have been drinking and should stay out of your way.  Unreal.


I'm so sorry for all involved in this.  The driver MAY have some responsibility in this if in fact he is guilty as charged however NO ONE forced the riders to ride,  they could have gotten off at any time that they saw their driver drinking and make no mistake!!! they would have been drinking right along side of him at the bars they went to so they would have known and Erie County needs to fix the huge drop-offs along the side of the roadway.  All parties, driver-riders-and Erie County bear responsibility for their actions and poor judgement.  As someone who lives quite close to the Mason Jar (and doesn't drink) I wonder if the same intoxicated riders on this hayride would have thought twice about getting into their cars after their booze bonanza and driven down the same roads I and my loved ones drive, putting TRUE innocent people at risk.  I cringe to think of the school buses driving down Patten Tract with the berm drop-offs that exist especially this winter when you cant tell where the edge of the road it.  GET  WITH IT ERIE COUNTY AND FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED!


Don't you people realize how ridiculous your arguments are?  I mean really.  country-girl says:  they could have gotten off at any time that they saw their driver drinking and make no mistake!!! they would have been drinking right along side of him at the bars they went to so they would have known.  BINGO!!  Those are called witnesses who will more than likely be called to testify.  Remember dear, it's not illegal to drink if you are of age.  And it's also not illegal to drink and ride on a hayride.   But it is illegal to drink and drive.  And only ONE person was doing that.  The person who refused the breathalyzer and the field sobriety test.  No sober person would refuse a reasonable request like that. 

Before you post any more ridiculous excuses, ask yourself, "Would I stand before a judge and make this argument?" 


Nope, not a family member but a neighbor to the Mason Jar that deals with these drunks driving our country roads constantly.  Oh, and were all these party goers going to walk home after closing hours or were they going to DRIVE!!  I'm sure, DEAR, that your going to tell me they ALL had designated drivers. I never excused Mr Hermes..I said IF found guilty ( I haven't heard of the blood results yet) that perhaps everyone should take responsibility for their choices and actions. and yes, BINGO...take responsibility, keep yourself safe and don't chose to ride with someone if you don't think you'll be safe.  I'm sure someone that was hurt would rather not be hurt than to  get money by a lawsuit.   Just sayin


Face it.  Mike's life has changed forever.  He's done for.  Their will be lawsuits flying left and right.  Did the Mason Jar put this on?  This is going to get real ugly.


All taken ~ Thank you. You hit the nail on the head. How true! Everone is out drinking together and now claiming no one knew??????? Yes...they are just as much to blame. Funny how people change there tune when something happens. Not to mention, just how much can you rely on stories told from shit faced passengers!!!!!

Just Thinkin~ Thanks:) Yes, mistakes and accidents happen.

Myname~ No this isn't Mike. Just a concerened person that doesn't think it is right to drag a good person's name through the mud!!!

There is a reason it is called an ACCIDENT not an ON PURPOSE!


Oh, I'm sorry officer.  I was accidentally driving under the influince.  That beer accidentally opened up itself and was in my vehicle while I was driving.  


See, it was all just an accident.


Notice how dumb you sound?


country-girl just signed up to post today also.  Must be another family member.  She is blaming the road and the people riding.  I can't believe how ridiculous you people are. 

The tt's picture
The tt

Of course.  You've gotta watch out for those dang asphalt imps.  They especially like to mess with the roadway in front of you when they think you may some alcohol in your bloodstream...or blood in your alcohol stream, whatever the case may be.

Perkins2060 says

country-girl just signed up to post today also. Must be another family member. 


Everyone has to sign up sometime. Maybe she's new to the site or just never felt like commenting before. It doesn't have to mean she's a relative. Sheesh!


did anyone read today's paper? his wife was charged as well for tampering with evidence. as far as I'm concerned they both should have known better. granted each and every one of those people knew he was drinking and made the choice to climb aboard but they also had a mind set of thinking they were in good hands so they themselves could drink.  if that makes any sense. 

(A) No person, knowing that an official proceeding or investigation is in progress, or is about to be or likely to be instituted, shall do any of the following:

(1) Alter, destroy, conceal, or remove any record, document, or thing, with purpose to impair its value or availability as evidence in such proceeding or investigation;

(2) Make, present, or use any record, document, or thing, knowing it to be false and with purpose to mislead a public official who is or may be engaged in such proceeding or investigation, or with purpose to corrupt the outcome of any such proceeding or investigation.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree.

Third Degree Felony - An individual found guilty of a third degree felony shall be punished by imprisonment for any term not more than 10 years or less than 2 years.


Why does everyone insist that the riders "knew" their driver was drinking? I've been on alot of hay rides(non-drinking) in my life and I couldn't have picked a single driver out of a lineup! You're with your friends and family, having fun and paying attention to them, not the driver. Did he  stand up in the bar and announce that he was the driver? Was he even drinking in the bar? Or was he throwing them back in the cab of his truck where he couldn't be seen? Seems a little ridiculous to blame the victims when they thought they were having fun responsibly. Mr. Hermes was the designated driver that night. There's no excuse for him to take even a single drink when he was responsible for those riders. He may be a good man, but he made some terrible decisions.

The tt's picture
The tt

We've made national news for something stupid...again.  Of course, I found this article through Fark.




Another proud moment for our area, Perkins.

All taken

 I don't think anyone is saying this Mike guy should not be in trouble for what he did, if in fact he was drinking and driving he should be charged  with that. But the rest of the people on the wagon knew he was drinking a they were willing to ride they should be responsible for themselves. There should be no lawsuits involved. If this has been going on for years, then LE had to have known about it and must have been fine with it or it would not have been going on, right??


Hey... oh my... sitandspin doesnt have any comments about the "beauties" in ER that took care of the victims? Great Job Firelands and all of the first responders.


My comment to the person that said it was unconstitutional to force a BAC on this driver - read the DMV laws.  Again, as previously stated, when you accept the license to drive you also accept that you will obey the laws.  The law states that if you refuse a breath test, they can require you to take a BAC test.  This is what was done - get over it.  The drive also violated a DMV law by having an open container as well as drinking while driving.  There is no constitutional protection from the BAC becasue you agreed to it as part of obtaining the priviledge to drive in Ohio.  Period.  End of dicussion on this one.  As far as lawsuits - the defendant will argue that there is some shared responsibility because some of t he riders knew the driver was drinking and rode anyway.  This will probably not have much effect on a civil lawsuit though because the burden of proof is much simpler in those cases.  The outcome of the criminal case won't have much effect on the civil case either due to the same issue.

My opinion as I see things.

ED grad

 I am sorry for all those involved.  I don't think this is a forum for Issue 2.  Alcohol impairs a person's judgement.  It was an avoidable accident.  Choices were made and now the people involved must deal with the consequences.


You could probably stop a member of the Hermes family anytime night or day, and find they've been drinking. Check out their barns sometime. Bet you find beer on tap.That's pretty common knowledge in Perkins.


                  Whomever amongst you is without sin,cast the first stone.


To all of you commenting on how drunk Mr. Hermes was...have you seen his blood test yet? I doubt it!

And to those of you posting comments about the entire Hermes family.....I am sure you are all perfect model citizens! Way to go!


 So, as i talk to a family member that was on this hayride, they checked his BAC in the Er before treatment and it was 0. He was the dd for a group of friends. The riders all assumed the swerving back and forth was in effort to have fun....with no knowledge that this guy was drunk and swerving due to the impairment. Maybe the driver didnt drink IN the bar considering the open container charge? .....hows come the trailer in-tow by the truck didnt flip???? maybe because that driver wasnt screwing around or drunk? Cause im sure he too had his BAC checked considering he was hauling a hayride of people and also involved, nothing about him refusing any testing. When you put on an event you take on the responsibility of the people riding/participating. ---> Cedar Point sells beer too....so hypathetically(sp) if joe schmoe drinks 5 beers and gets on the corkscrew is that too joe's fault if it derails, no-  it would be cedar points fault, even more so if the ride operator had a few b4 his shift. These trailers had standing room only according to family, but that isnt the riders fault, the seating should have been accounted for and not exceeded. There are several things that went wrong. yes-an accident is an accident, however.....there is still the fact that it could have been avoided, with no wrong doings, and the road NOT being a factor, considering it was recently redone, freshly painted lanes as to where to drive and if he wasn't drunk, he could have avoided this- like the driver behind him did. Blaming the riders-really? if the riders were able to be blamed for having beer and riding a ride then Cedar Point would never have to worry about anything if the rides malfunction and injuries occur.

Peachy Keen

Oh puh-leeze, spare me all this "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and "none of you is perfect" garbage. I don't care how nice the Hermes family may be. Bottom line is, it was a really STUPID thing to drive a tractor drunk and both Mr. Hermes AND his wife KNEW they were in trouble immediately because he refused a breathalizer test and his wife was trying to throw beer cans out into the cornfield! Give me a break from this "it was just an accident" baloney. It was an accident that should never have occured. There is absolutely NO excuse for driving ANY kind of vehicle when drunk, let alone being responsible for the safety of 120 people who were also evidently getting sloshed. And as someone pointed out, THOSE partiers would have gotten back to The Mason Jar and hopped in their cars and most likely driven home drunk, too. I also don't understand how this boozy hayride was even allowed to be out late at night on Mason Rd.,Patten Tract Rd. or Bogart Rd. I live out in that area. People drive FAST both day and at night. It seems extremely unsafe to allow slow moving tractors or pickup trucks pulling wobbly haycarts to be out on unlit country roads at night. They're lucky they didn't get creamed by another vehicle instead of just being toppled into a cornfield.


After the police are done with him, there is probably going to be some civil litigation going on.  Not  very responsible.  Expensive life lessons.


I don't know how some of you people can blame the riders.  We were planning on going on the hay ride but had to back out (luckily) at the last minute because our ride home cancelled on us and couldn't make it.  My wife and I and another couple planned on having a fun adult night out.  Nothing at all wrong with that.  You can speculate on what the passengers would of done once they got to the end of the ride, but you can't know for sure. I do know that 28 of them didn't get to make the decision for themselfs.  I would be willing to bet that some of them would attempt to drive home, as for us, we had made other arrangements.  Look at this in another scenerio, if you rent a limo for a night out, do you keep tabs on your driver?  If you go out and get in a taxi, are you positive that your driver is sober?  NO to both of these questions.  So why should this situation be any differn't? 


              So peachy keen,if you think this event should have never even have been allowed,and obviously this event has been going on for years,do you not  think that local law enforcement had some obligation to enforce any laws pertaining to such an event prior to the event. If you wish to judge ,judge every facet of this event and not just one indivdual facet,unless of course you would not mind being judged in the same fashion.


mojomojo...r u kidding me?  Local law enforcement IS enforcing laws by charging Mr. Hermes with DUI. There are already laws on the books for driving tractors and driving while intoxicated.  Why would a special "law" need to be enacted prior to the hayride sponsored by the Mason Jar.  Do you not realize how ignorant you sound?  


I hope this guy has enough insurance because he is going to need it.  I hear the lawyers already knocking at his door. 


Sadd...that so many people are so sue happy these days!!  $$ doesn't fix anything!!




It sure helps pay the bills when some drunk causes you to be hurt, though.



             Laws pertaining to transporting large numbers of people. Laws that are already written einstein.

Peachy Keen

re mojomojo: Of course there already  ARE laws regarding drunk driving. And if there are no local laws prohibiting slow moving hayrides on dangerous unlit country roads at night, well, there should be. The roads this hayride used...Mason, Patten Tract and Bogart...are all busy roads with lots of traffic. Cars zoom by out here at all hours and I'm surprised this event was ever allowed to occur in the first place considering the danger. But if there were no laws to restrict it, then what could law enforcement do? You are grasping at straws in your defense of Mr. Hermes.

Peachy Keen

And, mojomojo, if there ARE such laws about transporting large groups of people as you say there are...ones that would have prohibited this event ...please elaborate on them.


The fact is that it would be The Mason Jars responsibility to ensure that their event was within the law, not law enforcements.  Law enforcement was forced to be involved. 


      ORC 4506.01 D


Well first of all I think i can speek for most when i say im glad no one was seriously injured in this unfortunate situation... I was a rider on this hayride and my best friend and my sister were both taken to the E.R. the truth is this was an accident and some of the comments posted on here are so rediculous it makes me laugh.. how can you people take something and twist it so far out of wak number one most of u were not there so to comment on something that you kno nothing about is just stupud second the register dosent even have the correct information posted both the wagons flipped not just the second one we had to turn the first wagon back over because ppl were trapped underneath and inside the cage.. both the men who were lifeflighted were on the first wagon..I think in this situation no one has room to point fingers and put blame on certain people or things.. it was all very sad and all in all an accident yes the second wagon went off the side of the road first flipping over then caused the first wagon to flip also but he didnt purposly wreck..yes the driver may of had a few to drink along with most that was along on this hayride it was called (Bar Hop Hayride) it is just such a tragic situation that yes could of been avoided but it happened and there will be consequences of course.. but people who were not there have no room to make stupid comments about things that have nothing to do with what happend... It was a group of people trying to have a good time and it was not meant to happen and yes it could of been prevented or handled differnt but hence why its called an accident... I am glad everyone for the most part are ok and my prayers go out to everyone involved.


Map1010...I'm sure you'll be a witness for the prosecution. 

Rudolph 8

For all the posters who assume everyone on the hayride was intoxicated and that they were drinking with the driver at the bars:

I was a SOBER rider on the front wagon (that did in fact turn over but was flipped upright by people on scene before the photographer arrived). I did not know what Mr. Hermes even looked like until his mugshot was plastered all over various news sources. So therefore, even if he was directly injecting alcohol into his veins with a syringe while standing next to me I would have not known he was the gentleman driving. There were probably between 60-80 people total on the wagons being pulled by Mr. Hermes, I cannot be the only one who didn't know who he was. On the issue of the road being brought up: I can only speak for the front wagon, but I absolutely did feel the front wagon go off the edge of the road right before we flipped, I knew we were going over. So I agree the status of the road played a part in the incident.

In addition, I had to be taken to the ER and get multiple sutures and am going to have perment scarring on my face, in additon to other minor injuries. So for all the people judging "all" the riders: get your facts straight and stop assuming things (like the old saying, "we all know what assuming does"...I'm sure you all can fill in the rest). Have some heart for ALL of the injured! This was an accident, regardless of the alchohol levels of the passengers and Mr. Heremes'. We're all human, mistakes will be made...and without a doubt Mr. Heremes will have to deal with the consequences of his mistake, for the rest of his life, the last thing he needs, and all the others involved need is people who were not involved running their mouths.

Think about it, if it was YOU in either situation, don't you think you'd feel bad enough without people publicly attack you?



Rudolph 8

Just a thought,

If the captain of the Party Cruises or "Booze Cruises" to Kelley's Island was drinking and the boat ended up sinking, should the passengers be to blame also? Please use your common sense. I think opting to have a boat or a hayride transport people when they choose to drink and/or socialize with friends and family is a responsible choice over escorting themselves from bar to bar.

Rudolph 8

Just a thought,

If the captain of the Party Cruises or "Booze Cruises" to Kelley's Island was drinking and the boat ended up sinking, should the passengers be to blame also? Please use your common sense. I think opting to have a boat or a hayride transport people when they choose to drink and/or socialize with friends and family is a responsible choice over escorting themselves from bar to bar.


To the "observer" ... Contrary to your belief not All members of the Hermes family drink/and or drink and drive. Get the facts! Also, I think it's a shame that so many of you are attacking the Hermes family when the hay ride was not put on by all of the "Hermes Family." I believe this was put on by the Mason Jar.

I Judge you

Is it true that Hermes boy said "watch this" then jerked the wheel and laughed in a wild manner? 

I Judge you

Drinky drinky, drivey drivey, tippy tippy, ouchy ouchy! Hey watch this! Ooopsy dooopsy you go ER now! Happy Times!

I Judge you

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I Judge you



I completely agree with Rudolph 8!!!  And to I judge you No nothing like that was ever said i was sitting near the front of the wagon and LIKE WE SAID BEFORE it wasnt on purpose... as soon as the back wagon went off the road i felt our first wagon go off and then we flipped.. once again for ppl to make stupid comments and ask dumb questions when u werent there is rediculous..

I Judge you

I was there! I thought I heard wild laughter from Hermes! I was on of the few that aualy helped the victims! There was a good deal od pointing and laughing! Shame on those folks!


  I'm going to take a shot in the dark!  I'd put a small wager that Country Girl was actually raised in the City and just moved to the Country recently.  You can smell-out the thinking, if I don't like it or like doing something, then nobody should be engaging in the activity.  I sense the 9-5 and home in the yard till dark and watching what all the neighbors are doing.  The difference between you and most people on the Hay Ride is we respect your choices even though we live worlds apart but our way of enjoying life is far different from yours.  I've lived mostly on the "EDGE" my whole life and I think "If you are not living on the edge you are taking up to much room."  I don't endanger others or their property.

Just Thinkin

Hey, All you Blogger experts, grab your notes ,photo's and power points,Mike is due in court this morning Get down thier and show the Judge all your expert  knowledge of this wagon flipping, With all the posts on here from the experts who were thier and have inside information it is your duty to attend and set the OSP strait and nail Mike to the cross !! Hurry up . if not you all should be held in comtempt for not producing your FACTS 


Hey "I Judge" ~

I think it completely funny as hell that you think you heard wild laughter from Hermes when the tractor he was driving had an enclosed cab. Wow miracle ear... you must have been on another hayride! There  is no way in hell you could have heard anything at all not even if he was screaming inside the cab!


Has the Mason Jar been put up for sale yet?


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Just Thinkin

@ GMADD, I am not a Hermes, nor related in anyway, But I am a Friend of the family and I've known them to be fun loving ,caring and willing to help anyone ,I was not thier so unlike all the experts on here I can't rush to Judgement on these  half truths that are being spread. Have a good day and go fish some where else.I am not taking your bait on this, It's childish as you seem to be , you foolish little person LOL


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Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines


Okay people this is getting a bit much....What does being pregnant before marriage and being Holy have a thing to do with this accident. Don't you people have anything better to do?

Al K Hall


I Judge you

Maybe I didnt hear wild laughter. Maybe just maybe it was the howle of a distant coyote.


Was he really trying to pop wheelies in the tractor?


Even in the blogs,
time to circle the wagons -
or what's left of them


Truth of the matter is that his BAC HAS NOT been released to even him!!  NO ONE will know the results for a month or two...  I'd watch what u say until u have ALL the facts!! 


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My husband Jeff, my son, my daughter, and I have been friends with the Hermes Family for over 20 years and they are the closest extended family that we have had the pleasure to know.  Our family grew up with their family and they are wonderful people who contribute to the area and are very generous in everything they are involved in (Perkins Schools, Relay for Life, etc.).  Every one of them would absolutely give you the shirt off their backs. Why would anyone post negative comments about this family?

The old saying:  "People in glass houses should not throw stones" applies directly to anyone that has felt the need to attack this family.  Mistakes are made by eveyone.  When the truth is revealed about this ACCIDENT, I sincerely hope the media (and everyone that posted something nasty) will offer an apology to this family for dragging their names through the mud.

The Dubois Family is very proud to be called friends by this family, and we are very fortunate to be a part of their extended family and friends.


That's just the way a lot of people are.  If they can't make someone feel bad they don't figure they have had a successful day.



I Judge you

Wild laughter as the pain flows from the victims and Sharon may or may not wish the victims could suffer forever!

I Judge you

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 Sooooo....Is it safe to say that next years Hayride Event is cancelled? Its too bad this accident happened..sounds like a lot of fun.



As someone on another thread stated....And I agree, If the bars sold the beer and the people took it off premises, that would be a major violation of liquor laws. The bar owners better have GOOD insurance or all get their 'stories straight.' As I am sure they will...  Those that are willing to give up their freedoms for safety, deserve NEITHER!

What I read here are many judges and no jury. So many people can not wait for a bad event to happen so they can jump on the blogs just to insult people. Everyone makes mistakes, some worse than others, however mistakes are mistakes and the only judge we all will face will be in due time. Both members involved have enough to worry about without the negative comments towards the Hermes family too.

Business decisions are made everyday when operating a business, some good ones and some will be questionable, this one may be a fail for the future, again, that will be their business not the bloggers on this site or any other site.

The Mason Jar has been pretty sucessful in their business decisions to get them where they today, 1 incident doesnt destroy everything they worked for, its a set back and no more. May god blesss the victims and the Hermes family, hopefully everyone will mend and the Herme's can grow from this accident for a better future.


From what my friends that were on the ride siad, they brought there own coolers as did most of the riders.  I may be wrong, but aren't bars allowed to sale alcohol to go as long as it's not opened?  I'm pretty sure but not positive.  I know years ago when the wife and I went to Mona Mi and had half a bottle of wine left, they kept it.  Now when we go, they seal the top with wax and put it in a sealed bag and we can take it with us.  When I asked, they explained that it was legal now, as long as the bottle was sealed.

Sandusky Kid

 I will not infringe on anyone's right to due process, as so many have already on here. I do not know the family, so these are unbiased, collected opinions from what I've heard about this case:

Any time someone is suspected of drinking while driving (ESPECIALLY when there are so many people who could potentially be affected by that person), it is a BIG deal. It bothers me when people do not consider others when making decisions. 

That being said, the amount of citizens coming on here solely to make ignorant remarks about this man and his family is PATHETIC. I know, I know. You have a right to free speech. However, your remarks reflect your maturity level.




My 2 cents:

The arguement that this man had been drinking should not be the main focus here, although it would be disappointing to his family, friends, and himself if he were under the influence of alcohol. The main focus should be why he thought this was a good idea in the first place. Allowing 60 to 80 people to be on wagons while driving down a public road (whether in the country or city), with several passengers who had access to alcohol that night, is just not a good idea. Perhaps a hayride in the farm fields would have been a better/safer idea without mixing in the public scene of a bar to stop at. I do not wish the worst for this man and neither should you, but whether you know him or not the person should be punished for creating this unfortunate situation. If you have a harsh comment to say about a citizens mistake then by all means say it if it makes you feel better, but ask yourself this question: why is it this man that you feel the need to make such bitter remarks about? If this were your family member or friend I bet you would argue back the same way and defend them. Lets be thankful that this is all that happened that night and nothing worse came out of it. Instead of arguing with one another how about doing this:

Pray for the people who were injured, Pray for the person being convicted, and most importantly...pray for yourself.

God Bless.

I Judge you

Yes indeed it was the passnegers fault the wagons tipped!


You are not a christian or you wouldn't be judging others.




Of course Wisehart is going to hang his hat on the drop off of the road. Let's be realistic, it's tragic that all those people were injured and even if they brought alcohol of their own in the wagon the fact still remains Hermes was intoxicated while driving the tractor period!! If in fact the Mason Jar ,that Hermes's own supplied the alcohol, well that's another twist in this scenario. Another scenario would be chartering a bus to a Cleveland's football game, drinks are served on the bus for the passengers and the driver of the bus ( who is supposed to be sober) drives off the birm of the road causing the bus to flip over and people get injured, does this mean no one takes responsibility? The driver is responsible for the passengers regardless if it's in a bus or on a hay wagon, sober or intoxicated he was driving!!! It stands to reason that Hermes pled not guilty, since any insurance will be null and void since the tractor is to be used for specific farm use not for hauling intoxicated people and having an intoxicated driver driving people through the fields and on an open roadway. Another note should be as to why his his wife was charged with a felony for trying to toss the beer in the cornfield. The legalities and law suits that stem from this will be alarming.


Hey all you farmers in Perkins


Vote for the best fiscal officer ever

Vote for and retain Diane Schaefer as Perkins Township Fiscal Officer