The driver of the farm tractor involved in an Aug. 30 fatal hay wagon crash near Keuka Lake has been charged with multiple vehicle and traffic infractions, and the accident is being reviewed by the Yates County District Attorney's Office for possible criminal charges.
PENN YAN | The driver of the farm tractor involved in an Aug. 30 fatal hay wagon crash near Keuka Lake has been charged with multiple vehicle and traffic infractions, and the accident is being reviewed by the Yates County District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges.
Elam Martin, 25, of Penn Yan, was ticketed for unlicensed operation; speed not reasonable and prudent due to existing special hazards and legal conditions; equipment violations, including no trailer brakes; and operating a vehicle on pavement with metal wheel lugs protruding, according to Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike.
“Once the farm tractor and trailer were no longer being used for agriculture purposes it made it a motor vehicle unit, and several vehicle and traffic law violations then exist on its operation on a public highway,” Spike said.
Martin, a member of the local Mennonite community, was driving a 1966 John Deere 3020 farm tractor and pulling a hay wagon with 10 Mennonites riding on it, sitting on hay bales.
The rig was coming down a steep hill on Sturdevant Road near the intersection with State Route 54 on the east side of Keuka Lake when the steel-wheeled tractor lost control on newly paved asphalt. The weight of the trailer caused the rig to jackknife, and the tractor went into a ditch and broke apart. The trailer continued downhill before crashing into the ditch, with some passengers jumping off and others ejected.
Anna Marie Martin, 52, of Penn Yan, died Sept. 2 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where she was airlifted with critical injuries after the accident.
Anna Martin Martin was Elam Martin’s aunt. All the people involved in the accident were members of local Mennonite families, Spike said.
Seven others were either treated at the scene or at Soldiers and Sailors Hospital in Penn Yan for minor injuries.
Elam Martin was issued appearance tickets for Sept. 16 in Barrington Town Court.