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Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer warns of the dangers of hayride and other Halloween attractions

contactus_buttonEarlier this month, a Jeep pulling a wagon full of passengers on a Halloween-themed haunted hayride on a farm in Maine crashed, causing the hayride to overturn, killing one teen and seriously injuring several others. According to ABC News, the Jeep missed a turn and headed into the woods, causing the hayride to crash, overturn and throw passengers.

Many accidents occur throughout the season at different types of Halloween-themed attractions, and some of these accidents are deadly. In another accident this month, a teenager playing a zombie at a corn maze attraction in Idaho was killed after falling under the event’s Zombie Slayer Paintball Bus. The teen died from injuries sustained after being run over by the rear passenger wheel of the bus. According to the Huffington Post, nobody inside of the bus, which was rocking as it moved forward on uneven terrain, immediately realized what had happened. Everyone thought it was part of the act. Last month, a 59-year-old Minnesota man was killed during a hayride after he tried to jump between two wagons that were attached, fell between them and was run over.

These attraction accidents don’t just happen when vehicles are involved. Earlier this month, a woman received a concussion inside a haunted house in South Carolina when a vertical pole that was part of the structure got pulled over, striking her on the head. In New Hampshire, two toddlers were injured, one critically, at a New Hampshire farm Halloween festival. The two brothers were trapped inside of a bounce house that was swept up 30 feet by a gust of wind. According to a local news station, witnesses said they saw the bouncy house fly up in the air before it came crashing down in a neighboring orchard.

Are Hayrides Safe?

How safe are your children on a hayride at a local pumpkin patch? USA Today said that no federal agency regulates hayrides. Investigations into that fatal hayride accident in Maine found that while the Maine State Fire Marshall’s Office inspects amusement park rides there, hayrides don’t require licensing. There are no current government statistics on the number of hayride accidents, but the Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates the number of injuries on hayrides has risen dramatically, yet the regulation and inspection of hayrides is often left to state or local municipalities.

The Reading Eagle reported that in Pennsylvania and 48 other states there are no strict regulations for hayrides, which are so popular this time of year. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Agriculture’s bureau of ride and measurement standards has been inspecting and regulating amusement park attractions since 1988, but it does not have jurisdiction over hayrides.

These recent tragic accidents have shed light on safety concerns regarding hayrides and other Halloween attractions. As a parent, you can and should ask questions before taking your child on a hayride. Important questions can include the training and qualifications of the driver and the weight of the tractor, truck or SUV as compared to the weight of the wagon or trailer it is pulling. Also, make sure the rider area has sturdy side railings and that the route it will be taking is safe.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a hayride accident or an accident involving another Halloween or festival attraction, the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help. We will fight for you and your family. The Munley team specializes in car, truck and bus accidents. Visit www.munley.com.

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