Investigation ongoing at Mechanic Falls hayride farm

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AUBURN — Two weeks after a haunted hayride accident killed a 17-year-old Oakland girl and injured more than a dozen other passengers, authorities are still investigating what caused a Jeep and flatbed trailer to jack-knife on the night of Oct. 11 more than one-quarter of a mile into the woods at the Mechanic Falls farm.

Joel Davis, a sergeant at the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office who is heading up the investigation, said Friday he is continuing to gather information.

Androscoggin County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Robinson said Friday his office has pressed investigators to gather more evidence.

“We have conferred with the State Fire Marshal’s Office … and we have requested that they obtain more information regarding the vehicles that were used by the farm,” Robinson said.

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A week ago, investigators said they had completed an inspection of a modified Jeep that had been pulling the flatbed trailer the night of the accident at Harvest Hill Farms. The results of that inspection, which is the subject of a search warrant, haven’t been disclosed by authorities.

Robinson said other warrants have been issued in the case, but he declined to say how many and for what.

The inspection of the CJ-5 Jeep was carried out at a local garage. It focused on possible mechanical failure the night of the accident as well as the vehicle’s towing capacity.

Davis said his office would turn over its findings to the Androscoggin County District Attorney’s Office once his investigation was complete.

The Gauntlet haunted hayride at the farm on Route 26 was closed for the season following the accident.

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