Trial for driver of fatal hayride crash underway

Trial of fatal hayride crash

BATH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The first trial involving a deadly hayride crash at a farm in Mechanic Falls nearly 2-years ago is underway. The driver of the jeep towing the hay wagon is on trial for reckless conduct.

17-year old Cassidy Charette of Oakland was killed in the crash and more than a dozen other riders on board the Gauntlet were injured. The trial of David Brown was moved out of Androscoggin County to Sagadahoc County. 

The judge and both attorneys made it very clear to jurors on Thursday, that David Brown is not on trial for causing the crash or for causing the death of Cassidy Charette or injuries to the other passengers. The prosecutor said that is for another trial and another jury.

What David brown is accused of is reckless conduct.

The state claims Brown knew the vehicle pulling the wagon was not safe, that he ignored the risk and that the risk was serious bodily injury to his riders.

The defense claims that brown was simply an employee of the farm doing his job, he did not own the jeep and was not in charge of inspecting it. His lawyer told the jury the state will claim the brakes on the jeep were fading, getting progressively worse over time. But Brown claims the brakes gave out all at once, complete brake failure, a catastrophic event that he had no control over.

Another issue in the trial is whether or not the small jeep was capable of hauling a large wagon with 22 passengers, a narrator and a driver. The prosecutor told jurors there will be scientific and mathematical evidence they will have to consider. Brown's attorney told jurors his client will take the stand. The trial is expected to last into early next week.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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