A recent news item from Maine offers an important autumn reminder about safety and Oregon injuries to children. According to the Portland (Maine) Press-Herald, a teenager died and 22 other people were injured when “a mechanical malfunction caused the Jeep towing a trailer of passengers on a haunted hayride… to careen down a steep hill and crash.” The report cites information from “state officials.”
The newspaper reports that local and state police are still working to determine the exact cause of the accident, but the overall nature of the incident is something that merits our attention here in Oregon. Fall and the early part of winter are times when hayrides, Christmas tree cutting parties and similar activities take many people outdoors in unusual ways. No one would suggest banning this kind of family Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas fun, but this tragic incident in Maine is a reminder that safety also needs to be considered when planning these kind of events.
The fact that events like these often involve children only makes the need for safety more critical. Whether it is a Halloween Hayride or a Christmas tree cutting party (that might involve children who have never before been close to power tools), it is critical that anyone organizing events like these take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
As a Portland attorney specializing in cases involving injuries to children I am especially concerned when I see reports like this one from Maine. Several days after the incident in that state half a dozen of the injured young people remained hospitalized, according to the newspaper report. Meanwhile the family of a teenage girl who went out for a fun evening with friends are mourning their daughter’s death. All of us should be reminded after this incident of the importance of safety procedures even at events that seem simple and straightforward.
Portland Press-Herald: Mechanical malfunction cited in hayride accident that killed one, injured 22