Hayride accident dumps people on road, injures several

Jul 25, 2011

SHAW ISLAND, Wash. — The San Juan County Sheriff says he won't decide whether to cite the driver in a hayride accident on Shaw Island until the investigation is done.

Sheriff Rob Nou said about 50 people, mostly teenagers, were riding on a flatbed trailer being pulled by a farm tractor Sunday morning. The trailer was laden with about two dozen stumps of wood being used as seats.

The trailer overpowered the tractor as it went down a steep road and caused it to jackknife, dumping passengers onto the road.

Nou didn't know the condition of four people who were airlifted to regional hospitals but said their injuries were not life-threatening. He said about 40 others received mostly minor injuries.

The ride was part of a retreat by at least two northwest Washington church youth groups at Our Lady of the Rock Monastery on the island. The tractor and trailer belongs to the Benedictine monastery of women. A woman who answered the phone there Monday said everybody is fine and declined to say more.