Dozens hurt in hayride accident

Dozens of people were injured late Saturday after a hayride overturned on Patten Tract Road south of Bogart Road in Perkins Township, according to the Sandusky Register. 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.

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.

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.

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