Halloween hayride ends in tragedy for 3-year-old boy

It was a terrible Halloween tragedy for one Falling Waters family whose 3-year-old son was killed in a fall off a trailer during a hayride on property owned by friends of the family. According to police, the tractor was being driven in Hagerstown on Millers Church Road when the fatal accident occurred.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department said the boy fell off the wagon being towed by a tractor and was then crushed under its tires in front of his shocked family members.

One detective expressed sympathy for the family, saying, "This could have happened to anyone. They can't be in your eyesight 24-7."

Guardrail May Have Prevented Boy's Death

The wagon had no guardrail. The driver responded to the family's screams and reversed the trailer immediately, freeing the boy to allow CPR to be performed on him before he was taken to Meritus Medical Center. He succumbed to his injuries at the facility.

Professional Hayrides Safer Than Private Hayrides

One professional hayride operator stated that the risk of accidents on private property is the reason families who want to enjoy this fall pastime should use only professionals for hayrides.

Professionals will ensure that there is sufficient lighting, seating and guardrails to protect the public from danger. They also will insist on parents accompanying their children on every ride.

The operator added that the drivers on the tractors pulling the wagons typically train for hours without any riders to familiarize them with the route and any hazards.

No Wrongful Death Charges Filed

Because the state of Maryland has no laws prohibiting hayrides on private property, there were no charges filed against the tractor driver or property owner. However, this does not preclude others in a similar situation from filing a civil suit for wrongful death.

Source: Your4state.com, "Three-year old boy killed in Halloween hayride accident," Carolyn Blackburne, Oct. 31, 2016