BATH — The driver of the Jeep that was pulling a haunted hayride wagon that crashed in 2014 did not know of any mechanical problems with the vehicle and couldn’t have done anything to prevent the accident that killed an Oakland teenager and injured more than 20 others, his attorney said Thursday.

The prosecutor countered that the Jeep’s brakes were clearly in bad condition and driver David Brown, 56, of South Paris, should have known it and not used the vehicle to pull the hayride wagon.

The accident occurred on Oct. 11, 2014, at Harvest Hill Farms in Mechanic Falls, where Brown was employed. The Jeep’s brakes failed and the wagon overturned, killing 17-year-old Cassidy Charette.

Brown’s trial on a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge began Thursday in Sagadahoc County Superior Court in Bath with opening statements before prosecutors called several investigators to the witness stand.

“The state is going to try to present evidence that Mr. Brown knew there was a brake problem,” defense attorney Allan Lobozzo said in his opening statement. Lobozzo said the brake failure was sudden and catastrophic and not something Brown could have anticipated and reported to the mechanic at the farm.

Prosecutor James Andrews, a deputy district attorney in Androscoggin County, said it should have been clear to Brown that the brakes were in need of repair.

“I would suggest that Mr. Brown consciously disregarded the risk that the vehicle that he chose to drive that night was defective and too dangerous for the task at hand,” Andrews told the 15-member jury.

Andrews called several investigators to testify, including a Maine State Police trooper who also does vehicle inspections. The trooper said the brakes on the Jeep CJ-5 driven by Brown that night were clearly in poor condition, and another trooper who took the vehicle for a ride to test its brakes offered a similar assessment.

But Brown had reported another mechanical problem the night before the accident, Lobozzo said.

“There was an issue with a carburetor, there was an odor, and it was making the (hayride) less pleasurable, and Mr. Brown raised the issue with the mechanic and they fixed it,” Lobozzo said. “So the concept that he would have a problem and simply ignore it doesn’t hold up.”

The farm business has since filed for bankruptcy and has been indicted on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault, driving to endanger and reckless conduct.

The farm’s mechanic, Philip Theberge, was also indicted on a charge of reckless conduct, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Neither of those trials will be held this week.

The owner of Harvest Hill Farms, Peter Bolduc, has previously said that he had never been told the Jeep had a faulty brake line. Bolduc contradicted some former employees who told investigators they had warned him the vehicle was unsafe. Charette’s parents later sued Bolduc.

Earlier this year, a safety task force formed in response to the fatal hayride said the state doesn’t have the ability to regulate motorized farm attractions and would have to create a new agency to do so. The Hayride Safety Stakeholders Group found that neither the Maine State Police nor the state Fire Marshal’s Office has the manpower or the resources to regulate motorized farm attractions.

Brown’s trial could last up to four days and was moved to Sagadahoc County at the request of his attorney, who worried that media coverage there would bias the jury.