Mechanical problem blamed in deadly hayride crash

Gates that lead to the Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride at Harvest Hills Farm in Mechanic Falls, Me., are open Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, although the farm was closed after a Halloween-themed hay ride accident during the Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride crashed into a tree Saturday night, killing a teenage girl and leaving more than 20 other people injured, police said Sunday. The farm remains closed while police investigate. (AP Photo/Patrick Whittle)

MECHANIC FALLS, Maine (AP) – Investigators are blaming a mechanical problem for the Halloween hayride crash that left a Maine teen dead and more than 20 other people hurt.

The state fire marshal’s office says the problem caused the vehicle towing the hay wagon not to stop before it careened down a hill and struck a tree Saturday night.

Officials say 17-year-old Cassidy Charette of Oakland was killed in the crash. Sgt. Joel Davis of the fire marshal’s office says she was with a group of friends who travel to the farm in Mechanic Falls every autumn.

Davis says the investigation is still ongoing and results will be forward to the district attorney to determine if there is criminal liability.

Davis says about a half-dozen people remained hospitalized Sunday. Their injuries don’t appear life-threatening.

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