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.

Comments

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.

observer

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.

mojomojo

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

FactsOnly

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!

sansandusky

 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.

holycow

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

formeremployee

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? 

mojomojo

              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.

GMADD

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?  

Darkhorse

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

ConcernedSandus...

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

 

 

Kelly

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

 

mojomojo

             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.

GMADD

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. 

mojomojo

      ORC 4506.01 D

Map1010

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.

GMADD

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.

love-it

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

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained a duplicate post. Discussion Guidelines

I Judge you

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Map1010

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!

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