MECHANIC FALLS, Maine — A Messalonskee High School student has died and 22 others were injured when a Jeep pulling a hay wagon lost control, sending the wagon carrying passengers careening down a hill at Harvest Hill Farms on Saturday night, police say.

Cassidy Charette, 17, of Oakland was on the hayride with seven other students from Messalonskee High School in Oakland, including 16-year-old Connor Garland of Belgrade, when the Jeep lost control at around 8:30 p.m., went down the hill, struck a tree and overturned, according Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

“It was just kids out on a Saturday night hayride,” he said.

Everyone on the wagon was injured when it crashed and flipped, McCausland said.

Charette died later at the hospital, and Garland, who is listed in critical condition, was being treated Sunday afternoon at Boston Children’s Hospital, he said.

Garland suffered a broken jaw and back injuries in the crash, according to a Facebook page created by Hazel Labbe of Belgrade titled Help the Garland Family. Messalonskee Strong!

Charette played on the Messalonskee High varsity soccer team and Garland is a baseball player.

David Brown, 54, of South Paris was driving the Jeep and was severely injured in the rollover accident. He is being treated at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. He was listed in critical condition early Sunday and was still at the hospital that afternoon, McCausland said.

After the crash, 15 people were taken to CMMC, seven were taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, both in Lewiston, and one person was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment. Two people were taken from the scene by LifeFlight helicopters.

“Many of those injured have been treated and released, but some remain hospitalized,” McCausland said. “[Maine] State Police have impounded the Jeep and will conduct a safety inspection of it.”

Fire marshals investigating the accident say a mechanical problem with the Jeep may have caused the driver to lose control, he said earlier in the day.

Harvest Hill Farms said on its website the ride and its Pumpkin Land Halloween attraction would be closed Sunday to facilitate the investigation.

The farm’s Facebook page said Saturday night the accident occurred at the Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and their families,” the message said.

CBS 13 and BDN writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.

Watch for updates.

Nell Gluckman

Nell is the education reporter for the Bangor Daily News, but she will be helping out the political team by covering the 2nd Congressional District election this year. Before joining the Bangor Daily News...