Monday, December 6, 2010

Girl Overrun by Float at Parade

Bay County, Fla:

The Panama City Christmas parade almost takes a turn for the worst when a young girl is run over by one of the floats.

It happened Saturday night, directly in front of the Dan-D-Donuts and Deli shop on Harrison Avenue. Witnesses say the girl was trying to pick up candy, when the parade float ran over her foot.

The girl was not taken to the hospital. Panama City police officials confirm she was luckily not hurt.

Read more:

Condition of girl hurt in parade improves Columbia Daily Tribune Published November 21, 2010 at 7:07 p.m. Advertisement A 7-year-old girl who was r

Condition of girl hurt in parade improves

A 7-year-old girl who was run over by a trailer during the Columbia Holiday Parade yesterday has been upgraded to good condition.

Shianne E. Nesmith was listed in stable condition yesterday evening after the 3:45 p.m. incident. The Columbia resident was pulled under a trailer during the parade, according to a Columbia police news release. The accident took place on Sixth Street between Broadway and Cherry streets.

The girl was participating in the Fairview United Methodist Little Bethlehem float, on a small trailer being pulled by a Dodge Durango truck. She approached the trailer to get more of the coins they were handing out, police said, when a piece of her clothing caught on the trailer and she was pulled underneath. A tire of the trailer ran over her, injuring the left side of her body. She was taken to University Hospital.

Police identified the truck’s driver as Jesse Munkirs, 61, of Columbia. Munkirs was not injured and was wearing a seat belt. There were two passengers in the trailer, another 7-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl. Neither was injured.

Girl in stable condition after being hit by parade float

Ashley Blackstone 1 day ago

The Jacksonville Fire Department says a 6-year-old girl is in stable condition after she was hit by a parade float.

The accident happened Saturday around 1:30 p.m. at the Jacksonville Christmas Parade.

Police say the girl was attempting to climb onto the float when she got hit. She was taken to Arkansas Children's Hospital. Firefighters say she had no signs of visible injury.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Student’s death raises safety concerns

Student’s death raises safety concerns

Student’s death raises safety concerns

Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 11:42 a.m.

THIBODAUX — When Nathan Trepagnier and his fraternity mates took a hayride down Audubon Avenue Saturday, they were participating in a homecoming activity, approved by Nicholls State University officials, that was supposed to be safe.

But in the wake of the 19-year-old Metairie native’s death, trailer manufacturers and law-enforcement officials have raised concerns about the safety of people riding on trailers meant to haul equipment.

Trepagnier was run over and killed after falling from a hayride traveling on Audubon Avenue Saturday afternoon, State Police said. Trepagnier, who had been sitting on bale of hay, was trying to reposition himself when he fell, authorities said. Toxicology results on Trepagnier are pending.

Trepagnier’s fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order, had to register with the university to participate in the homecoming parade, university spokesman Graham Harvey said. University officials met Sept. 15 to review and assess campus activities, including safety measures.

Trepagnier’s death was the first of its kind during homecoming festivities, Harvey said. The university plans to review the State Police report on the student’s death before taking “all necessary measures,” the spokesman added.

The practice of using trailers in parades, whether Mardi Gras or homecoming, is not uncommon in south Louisiana, nor is it uncommon to see them used in hayrides around Halloween.

While these trailers are generally a part of slow-moving processions, that does not mean there is not some danger involved, authorities said.

“Any time you’re in any type of moving vehicle and not fastened in the vehicle, you’re at a risk,” State Police Sgt. Markus Smith said. Hayrides are particularly dangerous because they don’t have proper seating or restraints, he added.

The trailer Trepagnier was riding had a 1- to 2-foot-high railing, said Master Trooper Bryan Zeringue of State Police Troop C in Gray.

There were 22 people sitting in the truck and the trailer, he added, noting he did believe the trailer, itself, was overcrowded with people.

“They’re not moving fast, but you don’t have to be moving fast for anything to happen,” Zeringue said, adding the railings must be secure and high enough for people to fall, if trailers are going to be used to carry people in parades.

Without proper modifications, “trailers are not meant for people” and are meant for property carrying purposes, said Clint Lancaster, the technical director for the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers.

On Sunday, Trepagnier’s father, Wilfred Trepagnier Jr., said there was no one to blame for his son’s death because it was a “freak accident.” He repeated that belief during a phone interview Wednesday.

As a member of the Krewe of Bacchus in New Orleans, Trepagnier’s father said he is no stranger to riding on floats. The parade’s members must wear a harness to ride, he said.

Asked if he could think of any similar precautions for a hayride, Trepagner’s father replied that he could not and added his son had been sitting down, which was a seemingly safe position.

“He just moved a little bit to get comfortable on the bale he was sitting on,” Trepagnier’s father said.

Attempts to contact Kappa Alpha Order adviser Mike Matherne, who was out of town, were unsuccessful.

Trepagnier’s Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 3368 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nathan Scott Trepagnier Scholarship Fund at Holy Rosary Academy and High School, 3368 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans, La. 70119.

Staff Writer Raymond Legendre can be reached at 448-7617 or Follow him on Twitter @cometcrime.

Animal Paradise Owner Talks About Hayride Accident


Animal Paradise Owner Talks About Hayride Accident

See Video...Click Below

A day after a hayride accident sent a group of students to the hospital; Animal Paradise Family Fun Park owners speak out about the incident.

Eighteen high school students, mostly from Clever, were hurt when the tractor pulling the hayride trailer at Animal Paradise slid backwards, ejecting all the students. Thirteen of them were taken to Springfield hospitals.

The person with the worst injuries was the driver. Owner Lisa Ann Oddo says he has a broken rib, but doing fine. She says she's glad no one else was seriously hurt.

"Our hearts go out to the families, to the schools, to the parents. I'm a mother and I can completely relate if my child was on a field trip and had that experience, the fear that I would fear; we're just really glad that all the kids were okay." says Oddo.

The area attraction is back to operating on its regular schedule. Meantime, hospital officials at CoxHealth and St. John's say everyone involved has been treated and released.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Woman, 4 children injured in Millbrook accident. I added this to the Headline....NO lights,,,No Reflector Tape...

NOTE: This is my addition...almost all Farm Trailers are in deplorable condition. These trailers are rusted, have questionable construction standards and YES DO NOT HAVE WORKING TAILLIGHTS AND DO NOT HAVE REFLECTOR TAPE.

I ask...send me the pictures of the trailer....

Woman, 4 children injured in Millbrook accident

Posted: Sunday, October 31, 2010 3:54 pm | Updated: 9:43 am, Tue Nov 2, 2010.

MILLBROOK — Four children and one adult were injured in an accident on the 700 block of Myrick Road Saturday night in Millbrook.

The accident involved a tractor pulling a trailer with children and adults aboard and a 2006 Nissan Altima, which were traveling westbound on Myrick Road around 8:43 p.m., according to Millbrook Police Chief P.K. Johnson.

“According to the driver of the Nissan, he did not see the trailer until he was up on it,” Johnson said. “The Nissan struck the trailer, causing it to overturn.”

Johnson said the trailer was carrying children and adults who were out in area neighborhoods trick or treating.

“I think they were wrapping up their trick or treating and were about to drop off one of the children when the accident happened,” Johnson said.

A 40-year-old woman, who was on the trailer, was airlifted to Baptist Medical Center South in Mont gomery with serious to critical injuries, Johnson said.

As of late Sunday afternoon, Johnson said the woman had suffered a broken leg, which may require surgery.

Three of the children on the trailer were transported to Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery, while another child was transported to Jackson Hospital in Montgomery.

The children were ranged in age from 7 to 10 years old, according to Johnson.

One of the children suffered a broken ankle, which may need surgery, Johnson said. The other three were treated and released from the hospital Saturday night.

The driver of the Nissan was a 30-year-old man from Deatsville and was not hurt, Johnson said.

“This appears to be nothing more than an unfortunate accident,” Johnson said. “There does not appear to be drugs or alcohol related to the accident.”

Johnson said he didn’t foresee any charges related to the accident forthcoming.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hayride turns dangerous at Village of Terror ...Loose Trailer

What started as a fun day at the Village of Terror turned into a frightening evening for people on a hayride that went hay-wire, rolling backwards down a hill and crashing into a carnival ride.


The Village of Terror originally told WEAU 13 News the hayride crashed into the TIlt O Whirl ride. It actually crashed into a different ride next to it, a ferris-wheel-type ride with cages for people to sit in. The Village of Terror orgainzers apologize for the misinformation.

Original story:

What started as a fun day at the Village of Terror in Chippewa Falls turned into a frightening evening for people on a hayride that went hay-wire, rolling backwards down a hill and crashing into a carnival ride.

“I had my eyes shut the whole time because I thought I don’t want to see myself die, because I thought that we were going to,” says Amanda Weaver. “We were going so fast it was crazy.”

13 –year-old Weaver and her sister Mary say they've never been so scared as they were yesterday, when a hayride wagon at the Village of Terror came unhitched and went backwards down this hill, and into this ride.

“I had my eyes open the whole time and I thought the big ride was going to crash down on top of all of us,” says Mary Weaver.

“I got smashed like this in between (some poles) and that’s how my rib got bruised,” says Amanda.

Amanda went to the hospital, but says she's doing better. The Village of Terror organizers say they're not going to have hayrides anymore because of the terrain on the festival grounds.

“The hayride won’t be happening unless we can make sure it's 150 percent safe,” says spokesperson Julie Pangallo. “It's probably better left to apple orchards where they have flat fields.”

The staff say they apologize to anyone who got hurt, and they're working to make the festival safer.

“We’re very sorry for the scare. We're obviously here to scare people, but not like that,” says Pangallo.

The Weavers say there's no hard feelings and they'd like to return to the Village of Terror to see the rest of the show.

The Village of Terror says it tested the tractor and wagon for the hayrides, but never tried it with a full load before yesterday.

The Village of Terror staff also wants people to make sure they're respectful of the performers. Pangallo says yesterday some of the zombie characters were hit and had rocks thrown at them by kids and teens.


Posted by: Amanda Location: chippewa falls on Oct 20, 2010 at 04:30 PM
Dave- the pin was found severed in half. Too much weight on the wagon and VERY small tractor.
[ Report Abuse ]

Posted by: Dave Location: Bloomer on Oct 20, 2010 at 07:42 AM

'Amanda' Stated she was on the hayride and the pin unhitched. I have been driving tractor & towing implements & machinery for over 30 years. When the hitch pin goes in, the safety clip is installed. ALWAYS!! This is fundamental tractor safety.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Buckers on Oct 19, 2010 at 09:42 AM

I was also on the hayride and the management was very concerned about us. As for the village, it was a lot of fun and brought my grandkids 2 nights for the free rides. As for hiring a child molester, how would the people know this. Well worth the money.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Halloween Fun on Oct 19, 2010 at 08:30 AM

I went to Valleyfair (aka Valleyscare) for their Halloween fun, it was the first time I've been there for Halloween. It was phenomenal! Granted it is more expensive than $19.00, but there weren't many people, most rides were open, and they really go all out. No one got hurt that I heard of!
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: concerned Location: altoona on Oct 18, 2010 at 11:19 PM

This place should be shut down. Major safty issues not only with the equipment but with the people they hire. Whatever happened to background checks?
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Anonymous on Oct 18, 2010 at 06:17 PM

I'm starting to wonder about this place. They hired that sexual predator DJ guy without a care. Doesn't sound like a very professional endeavor.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: concerned parent Location: eau claire on Oct 18, 2010 at 05:16 PM

How can carny rides, haywagon rides, haunted houses, be run without being to code? Drug pipes for sale? Now I hear a registered sex offender is selling tickets there. Obviously this company only cares about money and not the welfare and safety of our children. Very disapointed!
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Lucie Location: Eau Claire, WI on Oct 18, 2010 at 04:49 PM

I wish people would stop overreacting. What would we do in this little hick town if we had an actual disaster happen? There is rarely anything to do in the Chippewa Valley, and with all of the exagerated complaints, they will probably not bring the Village back next year. I was there Friday and Saturday nights with groups of friends (ages 10-50) and it was amazing and worth every penny.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Anon Location: CF on Oct 18, 2010 at 04:03 PM

Wow - Now we find out that they are hiring sexual molesters to sell tickets. Shut this place down now !!!
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: anonymous Location: eau claire on Oct 18, 2010 at 03:18 PM

group - If you're looking for a "family oriented" event, then why are you taking your daughter to a halloween event called Village of Terrors of all things?
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Joe Location: Eau Claire on Oct 18, 2010 at 09:52 AM

Save your money people.. waste of time and run by unsafe people.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: group Location: chippewa falls on Oct 18, 2010 at 12:13 AM

I want you all to know that I took my daughter there friday night... it sucked. I took my daughter on a ride and the cable broke. It gave us a good jolt. To pay $15 is a RIP OFF... and then to pay another $4 to do the maze... come on...there was only 2 haunted hayride...the rides were all breaking...we will not return there.. times are tough so they should at least make it worth the $19!!! one other thing that turned me off was that one of the stands is selling crack pipes or whatever u call them,.... that is not real family oriented if u ask me!! VERY DISAPPOINTED!!!
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Emme on Oct 17, 2010 at 09:45 PM

'By the way, don't throw rocks at the monsters"... lol
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Beth Location: Cadott on Oct 17, 2010 at 04:42 PM

I love how at the end of this report the operators of the Village of Terror try to change the subject and say.."oh the way, quit throwing rocks at the staff" Really??? Someone could have been seriously hurt...I really don't think that comment applies here.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Amanda Location: chippewa falls on Oct 17, 2010 at 03:26 PM

I WAS ON THE RIDE. im amanda and no i was not there to get my rib cage bruised. not even on the outside but its on the inside. and the pin DID come unhitched. we saw it and stuff. this story is correct., but my friend lily was with me to.
[ Report Abuse ]

Posted by: mary Location: eau claire on Oct 17, 2010 at 08:14 AM
To musky hunter... yes, I am assuming that the hitch pin would be most likely to fail, and clip in the pin.. and safety chains. Otherwise, it would be the drawbar or truck hitch (which is attached with pin) or the wagon tongue coming unbolted. I have been hauling loads with tractors for more than 30 years. With farming, "Safety First" is a must for our lives and livelihood. I did and do read articles, and think about them before I'd jump the gun and make a comment or criticism.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Anon Location: Menomonie on Oct 16, 2010 at 08:32 PM

We attended the village of terror last night, I do believe there are ALOT of safety concerns. The maze has very uneven ground and the fencing is very sharp and narrow. I hit my head and my husband ripped his sweatshirt on a nail that was in the is very dark and dangerous especially with the uneven ground!! It is a fun place to go but they really do mean...ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: janice Location: chippewa co. on Oct 16, 2010 at 06:53 PM

By the time this fiasco is done, there will be plenty of terror to go around. Imagine the nightmares these children will have. Money talks!
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Musky Hunter Location: Tuscobia on Oct 16, 2010 at 04:35 PM

I honestly believe that the majority of posters, post comments withhout even reading the story.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Musky Hunter Location: Tuscobia on Oct 16, 2010 at 04:33 PM

Mary, you must have read a different story than I did. I read nothing that mentioned the lack of a hitch pin, or are you speculating? There a several scenarios that could have went wrong, EVEN with a hitch pin in place.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: deb Location: Eau Claire on Oct 16, 2010 at 03:10 PM

what about safety chains? or a trailer break? i'm required to have those just to pull my unloaded boat down the street!
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Linda Location: Chippewa on Oct 16, 2010 at 08:51 AM

I attended the Village of Terror and I thought it was very entertaining and well put together. Accidents happen, thankfully no one was hurt. Lesson learned..
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: CFMom Location: CF on Oct 16, 2010 at 08:38 AM

There was a teenager last night that fell through the flooring in one of the spook houses. Sounds like there are plenty of safety concerns there!
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: Ray Location: Rice Lake on Oct 16, 2010 at 05:51 AM

It "IS" called the Village of "Terror" isn't it? You're there to be "scared", so it sounds like everyone on the ride got what they wanted, a scare.
[ Report Abuse ]
Posted by: mary Location: eau claire on Oct 15, 2010 at 06:39 PM

Do they know nothing of a clip for a hitch pin???? Anyone worthy of pulling any load - much less a load of people - should know that as a VERY BASIC safety measure. For crying out loud!!
[ Report Abuse ]

Two injured during drunken hayride

Two injured during drunken hayride

By Danny Beers | Fox59
Story posted 2010.10.23 at 09:24 PM EDT

Benton County, Ind.-- A late evening hayride Friday night sends two to area hospitals and two land in jail on alcohol charges in Benton County.

Around 10:30 p.m. Friday, a tractor pulling a hay wagon driven by 22-year-old Aaron Hawkins of Fowler, IN was northbound on State Road 71 north of County Road 200 north when two occupants of the hay wagon fell onto the roadway.

The tractor continued north, dragging the victims until they were able to get Hawkins’ attention to stop.

Kate Henry, 18, and Gregory John Burkert, 20, both from Fishers, IN were injured and transported to St. Elizabeth Central and Clarion Arnett Hospitals in Lafayette, IN with head injuries and complaint of stomach pains.

The driver, Aaron Hawkins was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury and was taken to Benton County Jail.
Story posted 2010.10.23 at 09:24 PM EDT

Two injured, two arrested in drunken hay ride

Updated: Oct 24, 2010 10:30 AM EDT

Benton County - A late night hay ride in Fowler ended with two people in the hospital and two others arrested.

It happened at around 10:20 pm Friday night. Police say Aaron Hawkins, 22, of Fowler, was driving a John Deere tractor pulling a hay wagon northbound on State Road 71 north of County Road 200. Two of the people riding in the hay wagon fell out, but police say Hawkins didn't realize it. He continued driving the tractor, dragging the victims until they got his attention.

Police say Kate Henry, 18, and Gregory John Burkert, 20, both of Fishers, were injured. They were taken to local hospitals to be treated for head lacerations and stomach pain.

Police arrested Hawkins and charged him with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. Kathryn Pack, 19, of Munster, was also at the scene and was charged with illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. Both Hawkins and Pack were taken to the Benton County Jail.

Indiana State Trooper Josh Edwards investigated the incident with assistance from Benton County Sheriff's Department, Fowler Police Department, and the Benton County Ambulance Service.

Two In Jail, Two In Hospital After Drunken Hayride
By Alex Brown

Two people are in jail and two others in the hospital after a late-night hayride in Benton County Friday night.

Our partners at Fox59 report 22 year-old Aaron Hawkins was driving a tractor pulling a hay wagon northbound on State Road 71 north of County Road 200 North when two occupants of the wagon fell onto the roadway.

The tractor continued going, dragging the victims until they could get Hawkins' attention to stop.

18 year-old Kate Henry and 20 year-old Gregory Burkert were taken to the hospital with head injuries and stomach pains.

Hawkins was taken to the Benton County Jail and is being charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. 19 year-old Kathryn Pack was also taken to jail for illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Child dies on festival hay ride

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010


Child dies on festival hay ride

WOOLMARKET — A 12-year-old boy, injured at a church festival tonight, has died. Timothy Kirby, the son of Rev. Edwin Kirby, pastor of First United Methodist Church, died from blunt force trauma to the head, said Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove. Timothy and some other children were jumping on and off a hay ride and “got tangled in the wheels on the trailer,” Hargrove said.

The accident occurred about 7:50 p.m. He was treated at the scene and taken to Biloxi Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:10 p.m.

The church is located on Mississippi 67 North.

Read more about it in tomorrow’s Sun Herald.

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  • Posted On: August 2, 2010 by Jeffrey M. Reiff
    Tragic Hay Ride Amusement Death Spotlights Minimal Laws and Regulations Concerning Safety and Regard For Life

    This was posted August 2, 2010 over 2 months ago...

    We were Featured !!! and yet they keep sweeping this critical issue under the rug. When will they start to listen and implement our suggestions? We are ready to help!

    and this...
    Hayride death spotlights lack of safety laws
    woman died after hayride crash
    By Katie Saltz -

    JULY 7, 2010

    An accident happens when no warning or prior accidents of similar events happened. We have been sounding the alarm that we can prevent!!

    Here is an e mail why does she get the message?

    Mr. Melancon:

    You may be the best informed person on trailer accidents I have ever seen. I am trying to compile statistics about parade related deaths and hoped you might be able to help. My interest is more in the direction of preventing people from throwing candy, as we have had several near misses. I am the head of our Christmas Parade Committee and would like to have the information to provide to our local media. Do you have statistics on parade related deaths and/or serious injury, from candy, trailer/loat mishaps, or anything else that you could provide to me? Any help would be much appreciated and credited on our little blog (
  • Valhalla2 24 minutes ago
    God's will?
  • thepinkfaerie13 50 minutes ago
    My prayers are with the family and friends, this is just so sad :(
  • Look at this...

    and this.

    The family of Jacob George, a nine-year-old who was severely injured when he fell from a Halloween hayride two years ago, got a boost in both funding and morale on Sunday when the little boy was the beneficiary of a Home Run Derby last weekend.

    Please know that every one of these accidents were completely preventable! This critical issue and the total lack of any government action is simply mind numbing!

    It simply is heart breaking to know that yet another "Preventable" hayride accident will happen or more in the coming weeks and we have the knowledge and Suggestions to prevent and this is totally unacceptable.

    Where else do you suggest how we might get our message out? Nobody in Government seems to care.
  • 996699 1 hour ago
    Confused.....I am not using this as a soapbox....keep in mind...Halloween is next week!! and while this is a tragic accident we might prevent another tragic accident in the coming weeks!!! We are not trying to regulate everything.....we are asking for a simple set of rules when you use a Hayride!!!!!
    If we keep sweeping this critical issue under the rug....when will the time come to help find ways to reduce and prevent injuries? When the next child looses his or her life?

    Believe me...I morn every time I have to report this type of accident!!!! I grieve also!!!! I stay up at night asking why!!

    I have been asked to help by other Hayride organizations and parade float organizations and have made a difference and none that have asked for my suggestions has had any injuries or loss of life!!

    Look....I have been self funded....and in no way have gained financially for my fact I may loose everything I have because I have been addressing this for 8 years!!

    Are you going to call this mom insensitive also? She said this back in September of this year...

    See this quote from my State Senator!!!!
    We were honored to have a letter of nomination see full letter here:
    Quote " Ron contacted insurance companies, trailer companies and the
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and received no assistance.
    He decided to "go it alone", distributing flyers, which he printed himself, talking
    to state and federal political representatives, letters to newspapers, researching
    trailer safety and accidents, establishing a web site."

    This just happened In Georgia...
    Hayride Accident in Douglas Injures 27 People,
    By Associated Press Writer | (AP)
    Published: October 18, 2010

    In closing....we don't accept the continued loss of life due to this!!!! Prove us wrong..if you can't then why should someone else get hurt or loose their lives...this coming week!!!

    We do not accept knowing that we can prevent another family from this! This is preventable.
  • SteveSchlicht 2 hours ago
    There are venues to mourn, there are venues to inform and there are venues where all views can be explored in the open marketplace of ideas.

    An online Sun Herald discussion forum should be considered the latter as it is neither the funeral home nor the capitol building.

    The facts and circumstances as reported seem to support a need for social activism and examination as offered by 996699.

    Just as many other tragic circumstances have ultimately brought about beneficial change (Amber Alerts, etc), I think that we can show our most sincere condolences to the Kirby family while also expend some energy looking for ways to prevent such tragedies from happening to anyone else.

    "Not, how did he die, but how did he live
    Not, what did he gain, but what did he give?

    These are the units to measure the worth
    Of each human child from the moment of birth.

    Nor what was his church, nor what was his creed
    But had he befriended those really in need?

    Was he ever ready, with words of good cheer,
    To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

    Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
    But how many did love him when he passed away?"

    Our deepest sympathies to all of the friends and family of Timothy Kirby.
  • I am amazed that people want to regulate everything yet they also say they don't want the government in their business. They complain about big government yet they want "Big Brother" to look after them. Make up your minds. We have been having hayrides for hundreds of years without incident, this is a tragic accident that no amount of regulation could have prevented. We have been having parades for years without incidents. It just seems as though those who cry "we must regulate " are the same ones who want to less govenrment intervention into their private life.
    I am done,
  • confused 2 hours ago
    Could you possibly be a little more insensetive!!!!! How dare you use the death of this young man for your personal agenda and soapbox.. Let this family and their extended family grieve without your meddling. If you want a law changed go see Gene Taylor not espouse your foolishness in this manner. The family is hurting and you want to heap more stuff on top of them. Shame on you!!!!!!!
  • 996699 3 hours ago

    We are simply heartbroken once again. This the 5 loss of life and over 10 serious injury in just two months. The lack of action is totally unacceptable. Why does this family need to be going through this?

    Please,,,,Please,.... on July 12, 2010 of this year and for the past 5 years we have been warning of the injuries and loss of lives due to Hayride trailers and Parade Float trailers. Please note that has documented and documented accidents from "Passenger Cars That tow Trailers"

    This loss of life was totally preventable if we simply had a NATIONWIDE SET of safety instructions and rules. We don't think Utility Trailers should be used in this manner.

    Note that this week Graco recalls 1.5 Baby Cribs due to 7 baby injuries in 5 years...but we have 5 deaths from September and October and NOTHING IS DONE!!! Wake Up. How many lives need to be lost due to this unregulated and no national standard!!

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Tragic Hay Ride Amusement Death Spotlights Minimal Laws and Regulations Concerning Safety and Regard For Life

Posted On: August 2, 2010 by Jeffrey M. Reiff

Tragic Hay Ride Amusement Death Spotlights Minimal Laws and Regulations Concerning Safety and Regard For Life

As an experienced hay ride accident and amusement accident lawyer who regularly investigates and prosecutes hay ride accident cases, I salute the efforts of government officials in Kentucky to investigate safety laws on hay rides after the death of a 44-year-old woman. The victim, Terry Hurley, was killed after a tractor and hay ride wagon carrying 30 people on a farm jackknifed on a hill and began to slide down the hill. Investigators indicated that the tractor began to slide coming down a hill and the trailer then jackknifed at which point the victim was thrown off and struck by a wagon wheel. She was pronounced dead of head and chest injuries at the hospital. Five other people sustained injuries as well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victims.

As an attorney who has investigated and prosecuted hay ride cases, I am surprised that there are no stringent regulations concerning who can operate farm vehicles. In this case, Dale Dobson, head of the Farm Safety Program for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture stated that Kentucky has no regulations concerning who can operate farm vehicles. “There are no laws and we don’t need any laws,” he stated.

Ron Melancon, a former medical emergency technician from Richmond, Virginia, has been a stalwart consumer advocate promoting stringent safety regulations to prevent injuries and deaths resulting from defective trailers. Ron regularly collects information regarding deaths and accidents involving trailers and farm vehicles and knows that people operating hay rides or trailers often don’t even know how to work the lights or connect the trailer properly. Ron states, “a lot of trailers out there are just in bad condition.” For more information go to Ron’s website at or visit our website and click on our dedicated subsections devoted to defective trailers and hay ride accidents.

Many trailers are homemade and do not require licenses to operate. Nobody is there to verify that it is safe. Unfortunately, many of the laws being used in 2010 are from the 1920's and 30's. Not so surprisingly, in excess of 400,000 people a year are injured in trailer accidents in the United States and many of these unfortunately involve children and unsuspecting patrons at Halloween hay rides. We recently concluded a case where a young man and his mother were run over by the wheels of a Halloween hay ride amusement ride.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a hay ride, amusement, or defective trailer accident, please contact one of our attorneys for a free no obligation consultation at 1-800-421-9595 or online at

Hayride death spotlights lack of safety laws

Wednesday, Jul. 07, 2010

Comments (17) | Recommend (1)

Hayride death spotlights lack of safety laws

woman died after hayride crash


As police investigate the death of a woman thrown from a hay wagon Saturday, a Kentucky agriculture official says there are few laws concerning safety on farm vehicles.

Terri Hurley, 44, was killed after a wagon carrying 30 people on a Mercer County farm jackknifed on a hill. Investigators have said the tractor pulling the trailer began to slide coming down a hill and the trailer then jackknifed. Hurley was thrown off and struck by a trailer wheel. She was taken to James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital in Harrodsburg, where she was pronounced dead of head and chest injuries.

Five other people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, a deputy coroner said.

Kentucky State Police are waiting for toxicology reports of the driver.

Dale Dobson, head of the Farm Safety Program through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, said the state does not have any regulations concerning who can operate farm vehicles.

"There are no laws, and we don't need any laws," he said.

Dobson said the death rate from farm-equipment accidents has decreased from 50 a year in the mid-1990s to 13 or 14 a year in the late 2000s. The safety program educates farmers on how to prevent accidents and trains emergency responders on how to handle accidents.

"We educate that it is your life, your family, your farm and your responsibility," Dobson said.

Ron Melancon, a former emergency medical technician in Richmond, Va., collects information regarding deaths and accidents involving trailers and farm vehicles, and he said changes need to be made in Kentucky law. People often don't know how to work lights or connect a trailer properly, he said.

"A lot of trailers out there are in bad condition," said Melancon, who runs the Web site "There is no training in how to drive one with people in it; they are meant for cargo."

Melancon said the crashes occur because many wagons used by families are homemade and do not require a license to operate.

"Nobody is verifying what you are building is safe," he said. "We are using 1930 laws in 2010."

Mark Purschwitz, an extension professor in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, said that when a wagon or trailer jackknifes, it is usually because the tractor pulling the wagon could not handle the load.

"People think the tractor just needs to be big enough to pull the load, but it also has to be big enough to stop it," said Purschwitz, who specializes in farm health and safety through the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention.

Because farm work is often shared among a family, including children, Purschwitz said, regulations probably won't change because of deep-held farm traditions.

"There are so many variables and so many different situations that occur with farm work, so the tradition has been to leave it as an issue of personal responsibility," he said.

Melancon began his Internet project in 2003 after he rear-ended a trailer while driving his ambulance. He said the trailer was black with wire mesh and the lights were so low he couldn't see them. He was found not guilty in the collision, began researching trailer accidents and realized how many people were at risk for injury or death because of improper use of farm vehicles.

According to data he has gathered, Melancon said, more than 400 people a year are killed in trailer accidents in the United States. He said people might not realize the frequency of farm-vehicle accidents.

"Newspapers report a freak accident here and a freak accident there, and no one notices it is a national problem," he said.

Purschwitz said calls for reform on farm-vehicle regulations usually come from people outside the world of agriculture. He said some people want to require a license to use farm equipment, while "old-timer" farmers respond that they began operating tractors well before their teen years.

"There has to be a middle ground," Purschwitz said.

Melancon said he has pushed for new trailer laws in Virginia and is pushing for change in other states. Hearing about Hurley's death only reinforced his desire to reform state regulations.

"It is horrific, and it bothers me," he said.

Hurley was a meter reader for American Water Co. She is survived by her parents, Harold and Patricia Ann Hurley of Harrodsburg, and a brother, James Harold Hurley of Burgin.

Services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Thursday at Immanuel Baptist Church in Danville. Visitation begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the church. Ransdell Funeral Chapel in Harrodsburg is in charge of arrangements.

Herald-Leader staff writer Karla Ward and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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