A woman was killed and 17 others were injured on a tour of western Illinois on Saturday night when the tractor and trailer used for the relaxation excursion overturned, state police said .
Passengers were seated on hay bales in the double-axle trailer pulled by the John Deere tractor at around 9 p.m. near Nauvoo, Ill., When the driver lost control of the vehicle and “pulled over.” fled on the right side, ”Illinois State Police said in a press release. The driver and several passengers were thrown from the hayride.
The driver, who has been identified by police as Wayne York, 41, received a citation for not slowing down to avoid an accident.
WGEM, a western Illinois newscast, reported that the tractor and trailer slipped into a wooded ravine after Mr. York lost control on a slope, and that an initial investigation by the Police traffic reconstruction teams undersized for the trailer he was pulling.
Seventeen passengers, including 15 children aged 1 to 12, were injured and taken to hospital. The deceased woman was 32 years old; she has not been identified.
Brenda Brown, who lives in Nauvoo, Hancock County, said she heard helicopters and ambulances on Saturday night as medical and emergency personnel responded to the crash. She drove to the road where the crash happened on Sunday and noticed that the ground along the sides of the gravel road was “really, really soft” from the recent rain.
“I wouldn’t even feel safe there in the car,” she said.
Hay rides are popular in the area on Halloween, when Nauvoo hosts its annual Halloween Pumpkin Walk. Susan Tanton, who has lived in Nauvoo for 13 years, said thousands of people usually turned up to enjoy the display of hundreds of carved pumpkins. The festivities were canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but some people still showed up in Nauvoo on Saturday.
Ms Tanton said she had heard of a similar accident recently and thought people were becoming more aware that hay “might not be a really safe thing to do, especially hay. night”.