Sunday, October 24, 2010

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

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