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Lawyer: Settlement Reached in Fatal Hayride Crash Lawsuit

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Courtesy Family of Cassidy Charette

A lawyer representing the family of an Oakland teenager who died in a 2014 hayride crash in Mechanic Falls says they have settled their lawsuit against the farm owner who operated the attraction.

The settlement amount in the wrongful death lawsuit for 17-year-old Cassidy Charette wasn’t disclosed Wednesday. The family’s attorney, Jodi Nofsinger, said the hayride operator failed to ensure that the ride was safe.

“If you’re going to invite the public onto your property as part of your business and invite them onto the property to pay for amusement and entertainment, you have to make sure that you follow basic, commonsense safety precautions to ensure that that those people who are entrusting you by coming to your business are, in fact, safe,” she said.

Colby Charette, Cassidy’s younger brother, said the family plans to use the settlement proceeds to advance Cassidy’s passion for youth public service, volunteerism and positivity through the ShineOnCass Foundation.

“There is no bringing Cassidy back and so we’re going to continue to honor her by putting service first,” he said.

Last year, Harvest Hill Farm pleaded guilty to a felony, driving to endanger, in exchange for dismissal of a manslaughter charge, and was fined. Authorities said the ride went out of control, killing Charette and sending more than 20 to the hospital.

Prosecutors said there numerous safety problems with the 1979 Jeep hauling the wagon. The farm owner said he was unaware of them. The farm filed for bankruptcy and was sold at auction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.