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Posted on Sat, Sep 24, 2011 : 6:18 p.m.

Worker seriously injured in hayride accident at farm market near Dexter

By Steve Pepple

A 23-year-old worker was seriously injured in a hayride accident Saturday afternoon at Jenny’s Dexter Market, just west of downtown Dexter, authorities said.

The woman either fell off the hay wagon and was run over by it or was trampled while leading the wagon, Dexter Fire Lt. Michael Grissom said. There were no other reported injuries.

Grissom said when firefighters got there shortly before 2 p.m. the woman was lying injured in the field and the wagon had already been taken away. He said the woman was conscious and alert and was flown by a Survival Flight helicopter to the University of Michigan Hospital, where she is undergoing treatment.

An unidentified woman who answered the phone at Jenny’s Dexter Market late Saturday afternoon said she didn’t have any information about the accident and suggested calling back on Sunday.

“We really don’t know much about that right now,” the woman said. “We just know there was an accident on the hayride.”

Grissom said the initial call to the fire department indicated that multiple children had been injured after being trampled by horses at the farm market. That turned out not to be true.

The farm market, located at the intersection of Dexter-Pinckney and Island Lake roads, is a popular local attraction.


A Friend

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 11:03 p.m.

It's amazing how many comments have been pulled. This is an emotional issue that brings out a lot in us all.... I realize several hours later that even in my best efforts to remain unbiased and kind of "report what I know" about an incident (because I was proud of my friends who helped,) that I basically commented about the character of someone whom I know nothing about... I joined in the speculation that something must be wrong with that place if that little girl was hurt... That was not fair. How do I know what the owner meant? How do I know how he runs his business...? I know nothing. I was just concerned, as all of you are. It is soooooo important to not make a witch-hunt of this. In my heart of hearts, I know that no one at Jenny's would ever let something like this happen willingly. Let's all remember that.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:22 a.m. should hire you, seriously, best reflection so far. You have some journalistic integrity, despite perhaps not being a journalist. Thanks for that.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

Why do you keep referring to her as a "little girl?" She's a 23-year old woman.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers for the young woman who was injured. I am not surprised at this. I live near this intersection and it is an ACCIDENT waiting to happen. People park along the sides of Dexter-Pinckney Road and Island Lake Road, children run around everywhere, vehicles pulling in and out, not sure where to park, the hay wagons go up and down Island Lake Road where the speed limit is 45 mph or above. I have to be honest, this place makes me cringe, especially in the fall, and I cannot wait until it closes down for the winter. Yep, others who comment will probably chew me out but I don't care. I don't ever shop there so can't comment on the sanitary conditions, but I do know that the way things are run, it has long been ripe for a serious accident of some kind, either involving vehicles on the street, collapsing hay mounds on children, or an accident such as this one involving a horse-drawn wagon. Please ..... to the people who run this "business" ..... try to improve the safety surrounding it for the sake of all your patrons and for those of us who must drive by frequently because we live in the area.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

I am willing to bet that Jenny's market was here long before you, as was the Hoey farm. Who has the responsibility to be more careful? The farmer who was here all along or the city folks who moved on out to the country to live the "country life"? (Except, please, your manure spreading stinks, can you stop that, we don't like the buck pole, that could scare out kids, please don't tell our kids you eat your chickens, and yes, can you please drive that tractor faster so I can get where I need to go) How about people accepting they moved into the country and things are not life the city? It's so rude to move to a place, create a hardship for the original inhabitants and then demand THEY change to suit you.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

Since you live in the area, why do you not see that the parking areas are clearly marked. It is a very popular place so "vehicles pulling in and out" would be expected. "Children run around everywhere"... please speak to their parents about that.

Jen Eyer

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

Comments that include unfounded allegations of wrongdoing have been removed. If you have information to share with a reporter, please email


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

My comment did not bash anybody, I only stated that as a passenger, I did not get any attention from Jenny's or first responders. Not sure what I said that caused my comment to be edited out....?

Stephanie Trax

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

We went to Jenny's just last weekend. My husband said he felt he "took his life in his hands" by going on the hayride. When he, his friend and our kids got off they looked like they had been on a ride at Cedar Point! He was shocked at how fast the ride was. He said that the driver mentioned that the seat she was on was in bad shape, too. I noticed in one of the comments that a broken seat may have caused the injury. While we were there my friend tripped over a piece of farm equipment that was in the picnic seating area. As she turned the corner a large piece of equipment had been left on the ground. She tripped and fell very hard into a freezer. The employee I informed about it said "I'm sorry" as she walked away with her back to us. She said she would tell the owner who I saw there that day. He never came out to say anything. We have loved Jenny's and gone faithfully every year. We won't be going again though. I think it could be accurate to say that safety is not a priority. And this poor girl has been injured. It's too bad because they have the best doughnuts I've ever had! And my daughter loves the hay stack mountain-- although some call it a "deathtrap" and now I'm starting to wonder. For those who say that the negatives are just competitors, I'm afraid that's a bit naive. It's not a coincidence that so many people are commenting because they have long been concerned about this place! I usually don't comment on articles but just had to after my husband's experience last weekend foreshadowing something like this terrible accident. I agree that someone something should be done to prevent things like this. It was not just an "accident". The conditions were created by the management for something like this to happen sooner or later.

Marilyn Wilkie

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

Thank you Stephanie for telling it like it was. There ARE reasons for for comments being made. People have lived in this community for years have a right to make them. The truth of what happened is coming out in these posts, despite no answers from the owner or authorities.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 8 p.m.

A bit of a contradiction here! "We have loved Jenny's and gone faithfully every year" "I'm afraid that's a bit naive. It's not a coincidence that so many people are commenting because they have long been concerned about this place!" If it was so obviously unsafe, WHY would you go back every year???

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

Ban All Hayrides....think of the children!!!


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

I have not shopped at Jenny's for quite a while. I have stopped and found the prices high for inferior produce. The customer service is lacking, too. Worse than that, they often have samples out but they are not protected in any way. Hence, flies and other insects are attracted. Ick.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

Flies at a farm stand? Oh the Humanity! Go to Meijers then. It's air conditioned, cheap, smells great and everyone has a smiling face and there's no flies or horse crap. Or go to Ruhligs. Apparently it's some sort of Nirvana where they have no flies, poop, bees, or accidents.

Marilyn Wilkie

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

I suppose that I should be grateful that my comment on my neighbor's "farm" operation was deleted. I only invite people to come to my neighborhood in the winter time and form your opinions then. Try to think beyond that happy little farm market picture where you can bring your kids. Ask yourself a few questions.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

What we need to remember with all the negative comments about this operation is this. This is a small community and the owners of the stand have been members of that community for decades. They are bound to have a few in the community that do not like them for whatever reason. (some may have legitimate complaints while some may not). If there are any of those with negative comments that have businesses, I challenge YOU to put the name of YOUR business on here and see how many negative comments YOUR business would get!

Go Blue

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

People, get a grip. Its a farm scenario, with farm animals, not household pets. They are raised and live differently. Do you think the owner would be so idiotic as to have his business in complete view and NOT take care of his animals and business as it should be tended to? His location is in plain view of traffic from two directions. So maybe he doesn't have a pollyanna attitude and maybe he's cranky, or whatever is being alluded to in the comments. That neither makes him a bad person, nor does it mean he doesn't take care of his animals or the business. Everyone's level of care is different and that does not equate to neglect because someone does things differently than the next person. Go visit any other farm around and you will see the same environment. Big animals greatly prefer the outdoors often being brough inside or into shelter briefly in extreme weather. There is always mud. There is always animal poop. Are we so detached from our past that we have no experience with the reality of farm life and can only base our opinions on our own lack of experience?

Mr. Ed

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

Sure hope he has workers comp insurance.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

I, my wife, my son, and my grandmother-in-law had just arrived at Jennys shortly before the accident happened. We were walking by the colts and horse located near the parking lot when a young woman in an orange Cabella's sweatshirt came running towards us yelling. Only then did we realize that the runaway carriage was barreling down on the spot where we were and quickly ran out of the way. The woman bravely attempted to stop the horses by running up next to their path and waving them down but to no avail. When the horses crashed into the other carriage, she was the only employee restraining the injured and still excited horses for some time. She did an amazing job, and I am certain we would have been run over from behind had it not been for her. I also generally agree with Adam's account. Something I did not witness myself but heard from those who were over near the woman when the medical staff was there was that she suffered broken legs and a broken back. I am sure she and her family appreciate everyone's prayers. Speculation as to the cause of the accident and the owner's treating of his animals are, in my view, unwarranted. There were some things that were concerning with what happened immediately afterward, but as noted by some other people, it is hard to tell why people do what they do in a traumatic situation, and it is hard to lay much blame.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 1:03 p.m.

Maybe we need a law that requires everyone to wear Body Armor and Helmets when going on Hay Rides?

A Friend

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

Also..... remember, our comments here are NOT news... Even what I've written is "here-say", you know? We should be very careful not to be accusing anyone of anything! What we should be doing be praying for the good health of that sweet young girl.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

First and foremost, I hope the young lady is okay. Can we get an update? We were there yesterday before the accident and took a hayride. Both young ladies seemed quite competent and in control of the animals. This internet posting business by people who have no idea what they are talking about has got to stop. The conditions at Jenny's are better than most farm conditions for the animals. I think the opinions of the uninformed are shaped by Disney. Farm animals poop, many are big, and they don't live with their owners in their comfy little homes. A 2,000 Percheron isn't a fluffy little bichon, so stop the blather, please!


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:19 p.m.

I've been a horseperson my entire life, I have lived in Dexter for over 20 years, I have lived on and worked at farms for many years. So, since we have a resume now for Marilyn, I agree with justwondering. Burts may not be paradise for animals, but its an OK farm. Farming is not a zoo, these animals work and die for food. Its a far cry from abuse. If you want a zoo, try Toledo or Detroit. At least the animals at Jenny's have pastures. If you cannot handle the reality of farming, I for one would be glad to see a few less city folks in Dexter. Used to be a nice a place to live where people were kind to their neighbors, not hypercritical hysterics.

Marilyn Wilkie

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

"This internet posting business by people who have no idea what they are talking about has got to stop. " And your authority is?.....


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

A couple more things. I hope that young lady is ok. It's amazing how a story about her injuries morphs into a discussion on animal cruelty. The principal concern should be what can be done to make this safer. It seems almost every autumn you hear about some sort of hay ride accident somewhere. Second, I don't want to leave the impression that I believe many private farms are dens of animal cruelty. It's just that once in a while you'll read about these farms--well out of view of the public--where the animals are starving and never cared for. I believe there was a recent case near Jackson. My point is that Jenny's is open to everyone's eyes. So, it's easy for it to be criticized simply because there are so many people with different opinions of how animals should be treated who can look on. The fact seems to be though that when objective standards of mistreatment are used by inspectors, Jenny's doesn't fare poorly at all.

A Friend

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

My friends were there and ON that hayride so I received a play by play of the entire horrific event. I am not going to give the account myself, I will let them comment if they feel it is important. But in my opinion they were heroes! "C" tried to save the girl from falling, but could not... He did grab the reins of the horses at one point, and tried to gain control, but the horses were too far gone to respond. They were new mares (according to the driver) who were still getting used to the track. When the wagon stopped (by crashing into the other parked wagon I believe) my friend "J" ran into the corn fields to be with the young girl who was thrown. She checked for injuries and held the girl's hands while they waited for help. She got the phone number of the girl's mother and made sure she was contacted. "J" herself, also had to go to the hospital as she is prone to neck and back issues and had some whip flash and a bad migraine. No one else was hurt on the ride. People clung to their children and were some how positioned in ways that kept them safe. I have taken this hayride with my daughter and friends many times and have never had a problem... always liked that fast part when we came down that fateful hill.... I've always enjoyed the friendly faces at Jenny's Farm. But what struck me as odd, and perhaps telling in lieu of the other comments I've read, is that the owners first comments were something about whether or not the girl was in control of the horses. It wasn't "OMG is she ok???? What can I do for her...." He didn't run to her in that corn field, my friend did.... And honestly, who knows how and why people react when they are in shock of such news, or worried... People are all different. But I sure am proud of my friends, and I sure hope that little girl is ok!!!!


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

Since I moved to Dexter area back in 2006, I've heard time and again about the way Jenny's market treats animals. More than once, I would read the owner had been inspected by animal cruelty officers called to address "complaints" only to read that the officers couldn't find anything substantive. The animals are in good physical condition and get veterinary care. They, like many, would prefer that the animals had a little more this or a little more that, but I don't think that there was ever any real issue of animal abuse like you see elsewhere in so many private farms secluded behind fencing and no trespass signs. This business is open to public scrutiny every day. They have to make a living and the animals are a part of that. All of them, I've seen are in very good physical health. And, yes, some animals roam but remain on the farm. I've never seen goats off property. Animals are smart enough to know where the food is and that's where they stay. I'd be a little cautious about hygiene there though! I've often seen the goats sunning themselves on the picnic tables! LOL! Many who were raised in cities and suburbs have a children's "Golden Book" idea of how animals live. The fact is they are tough and strong. So, I would encourage people to continue to visit the farm. It's one of the few places left where kids can see other "kids" (goats) and horses, rabbits, and other animals up close and personal as if they lived on a real working farm. It's an experience that is harder to come by.

Marilyn Wilkie

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

One of their horses was killed on Dexter-Pinckney Rd. So much for animals "remaining" on the farm.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 6:38 a.m.

Okay, and I do kind of wonder about this note in the article: "Grissom said the initial call to the fire department indicated that multiple children had been injured after being trampled by horses at the farm market. That turned out not to be true." No children were injured or trampled. Okay. Good. But respectfully, how exactly does that help the community to understand what happened during the accident? I like, and I really enjoy being able to read local articles. I guess I would have left that part out. It reads like sensationalism.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 10:44 a.m.

Thank you again Mark!


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 5:13 a.m.

I was at Jenny's right after this accident happened. I have been coming here for over three years the animals ARE NOT MISTREATED, They have made this family fall event a very reasonable and fun event for everyone, the prices are very good compared to some of the smaller farm orchard prices and the quality and variety of things you can get here ....well you just can't get anywhere else. As far as what happened I am not sure but I know for a fact this was an accident : kind of thing that happens at farms all across America, the people who are moaning are the ones who didn't think of doing this at their farm. The animals are in small quarters but guess what...that is only temporary so the people can enjoy seeing baby cows, horses, goats etc.....I say continue going to Jenny's it is fun and my prayers go out to the young girl who was injured. Just so you know I live in Saline so I don't even know the people at Jenny's .

Marilyn Wilkie

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

Is "temporary" defined as early spring to late fall?


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

I drive past this location almost every day, but have not stopped in about 15 years. I have several reasons for this. First, I mentally have questioned the safety of some of the things I've seen there. The hay rides have not looked safe from what I've seen driving by previous years. Second, I have had questions regarding the way the animals are treated on the property since I see very little shelter for the animals. Third, I also recieved rude service during my last couple visits to the location way back when. For those that say I should support a local business. I do. I support Ruhlig's who is a couple miles further down Island Lake Rd, plus has several other smaller stands set up across the area. I have never had a problem with the service that I have recieved from anyone at Ruhlig's and I also find that the prices are better than Jenny's. I do think a full and complete investigation of this incident needs to take place. This is a very dangerous situation and any safety issues need to be corrected before another accident happens. While the investigation takes place I also hope the injured young women can make a full and complete recovered from her injuries.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

For the record: If they've done (or doing) nothing wrong and are in compliance will all Federal, State and Local guidelines then they have nothing to worry about. Innocent until proven otherwise, despite the internet attacks. Also, I do hope the injured woman recovers quickly. Was Survival Flight called because of the football game in Ann Arbor? Seems unusual considering the distance isn't that far from Dexter to UM.

steve h

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

if you go to this link you may find the reason for Survival Flight being called. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Sure Shepard145, farmers (just like bankers) don't need any oversight from the government. Here enjoy this cantaloupe. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 2:34 a.m.

Oh yea, Mommy government to the rescue once again to tell everyone what they should do. I like the farmers that tell the government to step onto their farm at their own risk.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

Jenny's is a great place! I drive by every day and frequently stop. What happened today was an ACCIDENT. I was there moments after it happened. The place was packed and for good reason. My family raises horses and livestock and I have never seen any abuse to any of the animals and in fact they appear to be in excellent health. Yes, it smells like a farm because it is. Perhaps the critics would prefer the animals wear diapers. This internet business bashing needs to stop. Review the negative post about any business you're familiar with and it becomes obvious that a large share are from competitors, ex employees, people with there own agenda, cowards and internet bullys who would never say what they say to anyone in real life. Our hearts go out to the young woman who was injured, her family, and the staff at Jennys.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

With the numerous comments about conditions I certainly hope both the State (Probably OSHA) and Humane Society look in on this business. I'd also encourage to get into some real journalism and investigate the comments here. Show us ( what you can do as an online &quot;paper&quot;. This (investigative journalism) is your duty charge. Get to work digging. Shine the light of day on these people.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

I believe the Jenny Market was investigated within the past few years and found the complaints unfounded..I remember reading it either on here or on another paper possibly The Observer.

Marilyn Wilkie

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

The authorities don't seem interested, since complaints have been being reported for years.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

Our family is thinking positive thoughts for the young woman injured and hope to hear positive news soon. We'll also be stopping by tomorrow to buy all of our mums, produce, etc. (and the fabulous pumpkin donuts!) to support our neighbor, a family friendly place who is now under some sort of attack at a time when they just experienced a very sad, tragic accident.

Marilyn Wilkie

Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

You must be new in the area.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 2:24 a.m.

Sure hope improper upkeep of the wagon (re: seat) didn't have anything to do with the accident or your neighbor is going to have a lot more than tragedy on his hands.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 12:28 a.m.

Close this place down. I stopped going there years ago because of the rude behavior on the part of clerks, shabby produce, inflated prices and dirty surroundings. I'm sorry for the young woman's accident and hope she recovers fully. This farm market is bad news and perhaps this incident will cause more investigations of this business that needs to be put out of business.


Sun, Sep 25, 2011 : 5:27 a.m.

Dirty surroundings? Maybe the Hyatt is where you should be...We are talking about a farm.


Sat, Sep 24, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

I was there with my family when this happened. It appeared the driver of the hayride fell off the wagon and was run over. The horses continued on with the wagon and other passengers until arriving back at the parking area. Unfortunately, they were unable able to stop before hitting another wagon - one horse fell under the wagon in front, while the other was pinned between the two. As far as we could tell, everyone else on the wagon was able to safely get off. The horses were freed from their harnesses and seemed to be OK beside minor scrapes and stress. Our prayers go out to the injured young lady and her family. It appeared as if her bench on the wagon had broken and could have led to her falling. The passengers were fortunate to have escaped without injury.

Mr. Ed

Sat, Sep 24, 2011 : 10:52 p.m.

Was OSHA called? Not he first and not the last accident.