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Mom of 3 with a 'Beautiful Soul' Killed and 17 People Injured After Hayride Overturns in Ill.

People logo People 10/26/2020 Rachel DeSantis
a man and a woman smiling for the camera: GoFundMe Amy Swinderman © Provided by People GoFundMe Amy Swinderman

A 32-year-old woman was killed and more than a dozen others, including 14 children, were injured after the hayride they were riding in crashed and overturned in Illinois, authorities said.

A group of more than 20 people were riding on square hay bales in a double-axle trailer that was being pulled by a John Deere tractor-trailer in Hancock County on Saturday, Illinois State Police said in a news release.

a close up of a man and a woman smiling for the camera: Amy Swinderman © GoFundMe Amy Swinderman

The vehicle “lost control and ran off the right side” of the road, then overturned around 9 p.m., ejecting both the driver, 41-year-old Wayne York, and multiple passengers.

Amy Swinderman, of Hamilton, Illinois, was killed in the crash, the Hancock County Coroner’s Office, which did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, told WGEM.

Police said 17 people, ranging in age from 1 to 43 years old, were injured and taken to a local area hospital.

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Swinderman was a wife and mom to three young daughters, according to a GoFundMe page that has so far raised nearly $5,000 for her family.

“Amy was a loving wife and mother. She was an amazing friend with a beautiful soul,” the page said. “She was the light that filled the room with her presence. A smile that made a difference and brought you comfort.”

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The group had attended a family event earlier in the day before they boarded the trailer for a hayride, Illinois State Police Capt. Jon Dively Jr. told WGEM.

Dively said the tragic crash occurred after the driver lost control of the vehicle while on an incline, causing the tractor and wagon to slide down into a wooded ravine.

He added that an early investigation by the Illinois State Police traffic reconstruction team reportedly found that the tractor being used was “undersized” for the ride.

York — who did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment — was issued a citation for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, police said.


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