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Family of Teen Killed In Hayride Crash Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

There are two main reasons people file lawsuits – to be compensated for damages resulting from the negligence of someone else and to bring awareness to prevent the negligence from happening to others.

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the farm where a 17-year-old girl was killed in a hayride crash in October 2014.

During a Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride at Harvest Hills Farm in Mechanic Falls, Maine in October 2014, the driver of a 1979 Jeep CJ5 lost control, careened down a hill and hit a tree. Seventeen-year-old Cassidy Charette died; more than 20 others on the wagon were injured. Investigators at the time said a mechanical problem with the Jeep most likely cause the crash. The driver was charged with reckless conduct. Harvest Hill Farms Inc. was indicted last summer on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault, driving to endanger and reckless conduct.

Cassidy’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the farm, the driver of the hayride and a mechanic who allegedly worked on the Jeep. The lawsuit lays out a timeline of events from that night.
• At the time of the crash, the Jeep did not have properly functioning brakes.
• The Jeep’s towing capacity was limited to 2,000 pounds with a braking system on the towed.
• The wagon’s weight exceeded 5,400 pounds.
• The towed wagon had no braking system.

The family is seeking unspecified damages for their funeral expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of companionship, according to the complaint.

The Charette’s said that their lives will never heal from the loss of Cassidy; no compensation or conviction will change that either. The lawsuit was filed to raise awareness and hopefully cause change so that no other family has to endure such a tragic loss. They said any financial compensation will be used to build the ShineOnCass Foundation, a charity organization named in their daughter’s memory.

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