MILFORD, Mich. (WWJ) – Authorities say nine people were hurt — some of them taken to a local hospital — after a tractor-pulled hayride tipped over at Camp Dearborn in Milford on Sunday, throwing everyone to the ground.
A posting on Camp Dearborn’s Facebook page says most of the people injured were treated on the scene. Additional participants were transported via ambulance to a local hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
Later hayrides proceeded without incident, the camp said.
WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Joyce Williams, with Huron Valley Ambulance — one of the first responders to the scene.
“I’m just glad it wasn’t a serious accident and, clearly, we had a lot of units there and people were taken care of right away,” Williams said.
The hayrides can accommodate up to 30 people. It’s not clear how many people were on the ride at the time, although several students from Henry Ford Community College were on the hayride at the time of the accident.
Rider Laura Jo Lubeck said she “was screaming” and “terrified the whole time.”
“…It was the scariest hayride I have ever been on. I was sitting on the middle bench and that bench broke from the wagon. I went flying out over my husband and others who were sitting against the higher wooden side of the wagon,” Lubeck said on Facebook.
“I landed face first hitting dirt a few times. Bruised from neck to ankle on my left side. I had a 4 and a 5-year-old grandchildren on that wagon that went flying out of their boots! My grown daughter got hit in the back of her head with the bench that broke. It was the scariest thing ever,” she said. “My husband was transported to the hospital in an ambulance and got checked out for a concussion. Some people broke collarbones, and others who I work with I am still not sure how they are. Broken bones and hurt children. Shame on the driver!”
The incident touched off a debate on social media as to whether or not Camp Dearborn’s hayrides are dangerous.
Samantha Lampear commented on Facebook, “When we were out there a couple weeks ago, when we went to pass another hayride, the drivers were playing chicken with each other, swerving out of the way at the last minute. My 8-year-old sister was so scared that she actually asked if we could get out and walk back when they stopped to let the kids have a hay fight. They should warn people that the hayride is going to be like that. I would’ve opted out of taking my sister and my 6 month old daughter on it if I would’ve known.”
Juan Luis Carrion agreed, “Yes Is very true I seen it my self when i was there. It was extreme hayride, The guy was standing driving like a maniac and I was like I’ll never get my kids in there and look now; is sad how they want to be so strict and allow this clowns to drive like that.”
Joe Camilleri said, “I’m surprised it took this long for someone to get hurt. I’ve seen the hay rides operating in a wreckless manner like this for decades … Hayrides should be fun and serene, not a thrill ride. If I want a thrill ride, Cedar Point is just a few hours down the road.”
Melissa Watkins-Craddock wrote, “2 weeks ago, my family and I went camping for one of the Halloween weekends… When we went on the Hayride, we were appalled at how fast, how abrupt the driver turned and overall how careless they were, and how they saw nothing wrong with the lack of care …”
Others disagree there’s an issue with the rides.
“Sorry to hear that!” commented Nidal Unis. “I was there last weekend and I went with my kids on the hayride and been doing so for the past ten years and we’ve never had a problem. Last week especially the guy who drove the hayride was very professional and was not speeding!”
Wrote Jackie Bates, “I’ve been doing hayrides there for over 20 years and have never had a problem.”