By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN – The Highland Township man who was driving the tractor involved in a hayride accident at Camp Dearborn that sent nine people to area hospitals Oct. 27 has been charged with reckless driving for the incident.
Adam Forehand, 28, was arraigned before 52nd District Court Magistrate Andra Richardson on Oct. 30 on the charge of reckless driving. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail or a $500 fine. Forehand was released on a $1,000 personal bond.
Forehand has a pretrial examination of the evidence against him at 9 a.m. Nov. 26 before 52nd District Court Judge Robert Bondy.
Milford Police Chief Thomas Lindberg said Forehand has cooperated with the police throughout their investigation into the accident.
Foreland, who is a part-time employee, has been suspended without pay by the city of Dearborn, which owns and operates the camp, though it is located in Milford.
The accident occurred shortly after 5:30 p.m. in Area B of the camp when Forehand attempted to navigate a small hill. The tractor was turning to the left, toward a row of campsites, when the trailer turned over, landed on its side and righted itself again.
All 16 passengers were thrown from the trailer and several riders sustained injuries. All of the riders were associated with the Henry Ford Community College Support Staff Association, which had made arrangements for the group hayride.
According to the police report filled after the accident, Forehand informed the police that he had been drinking before the accident and was given a breath test by the officers, registering a reading of 0.06.
The legal limit for driving is .08 in Michigan.
Forehand said that he had consumed alcohol because it was his birthday.
Also in the report, Forehand alleged that the passengers had moved to the left side of the trailer during the ride to throw hay at riders on another hayride traveling in the same area, though he had previously told them to remain seated.
Officers spoke with several riders, some of whom said that passengers were not piled on one side of the trailer, but were evenly distributed when the accident occurred. Some passengers also stated that they did not hear anyone talking about throwing hay.
In a press release issued two days after the accident, Dearborn Department of Public Information Director Mary Laundroche said the city was informed by the Milford Fire Department on the day following the accident that nine people were transported to area hospitals, and that none of the injuries appeared to have been life-threatening.
She said riders stated that they were experiencing back and neck pain, bruises and scrapes and a possible broken jaw. All of the people transported to the hospital were adults.
Laundroche said that the seasonal hayrides began in mid-September, with 50 trips offered. Another 60 trips were taken in the summer and about 2,500 people participated in hayrides this year.
Oct. 27 was the last night of fall hayrides at Camp Dearborn.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected])