Some charges dropped in fatal hayride crash

Hayride case dropped, charges dismissed

AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — One of the criminal cases involving a fatal hayride crash has been dropped and some charges in the other pending case have been dismissed.

It was just more than two years ago when a hayride traveled down a hill, out of control, and crashed at a farm in Mechanic Falls. Seventeen-year-old Cassidy Charette was killed and more than a dozen others were injured.

Last month, the state could not convince a jury that David Brown acted recklessly when he took a Jeep with failing brakes out to pull the hayride. The district attorney’s office has now dropped the same charge, reckless conduct, against the mechanic, Philip Thebarge.

Also, two of the four charges against Harvest Hills farm have been dropped. The most serious charge against the farm, manslaughter, remains.

Jodi Nofsinger is the attorney and spokesperson for Cassidy Charette’s family. She said she understands the DA's office has difficult decisions to make based on the evidence it has.

“We support the work they are doing," she said. "We hope people are held accountable when juries conclude they’ve committed crimes. Frankly, it’s a difficult job the DA’s office has."

While proving a crime was committed can be tough, she said civil cases are about holding people accountable for things they should have done. That is what she is trying to do with the civil suit she filed.

“When I look at what they didn’t do to make sure that Cassidy and her friends and the other people were safe when they chose to go to this business, were invited to this business," she said. "My goal is to make sure this doesn’t happen again."

The civil case is now making its way through the court system. The criminal trial involving Harvest Hills Farm is scheduled for next month in Wiscasset.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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