By Jeff Murray. From Stargazette.com. Originally posted: August 31, 2015. Original Article.
Several people were injured, two seriously, when a tractor pulling a farm wagon lost control and overturned Sunday on a rural road in Yates County.
All of the victims were members of the local Mennonite community, according to Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike.
Nine people were injured when the tractor operated by Elam Martin, 43, of Fred Taylor Road in Penn Yan, lost control while going down a steep hill around 2:45 p.m. Sunday on Sturdevent Road in the Town of Barrington.
“He was operating a medium-sized tractor that had steel wheels on it. It appears to us with the weight of the trailer pushing against the tractor, it didn’t have traction it would have had with rubber tires,” Spike said. “It started to slide out of control. It went into a deep ditch and broke apart. The trailer, which was a farm wagon, went on down the hill and smashed up. It ejected all the folks on it. We had several injuries treated at the scene.”
The families appeared to be out for a Sunday hayride when the accident occurred, Spike said.
There are no regulations in New York regarding hayride safety. As long as the tractor had a slow moving vehicle emblem, it was legal to be on the road, Spike said.
There are more than 3,000 Mennonites living in Yates County, and steel-wheeled tractors are common in their community, the sheriff said. But he doesn’t recall any similar incidents with farm vehicles losing traction on a public road.
Elam Martin was flown by helicopter to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester with head, chest and back injuries. Anna Marie Martin, 52, was also taken to Strong with neck injuries and no feeling from the waist down.
Also sustaining minor injuries were Marvin Martin, 21; Arlene Hoover, 18; Warren Eberly, 25; Laura Eberly, 23; Marlin Martin, 59; Susie Martin, 34; and Anna Mary Martin, 16. They were all treated at the scene or taken to local hospitals for treatment.
The investigation into the accident is continuing and no charges have been filed, Spike said.