In October, a horse-drawn buggy on Route 3 in Richmond County was rear-ended by a Jeep Cherokee near Folly Neck Rd.
Two of the occupants in the buggy were thrown out and suffered severe injuries. Two helicopters were called out to respond to the scene and airlifted the Emmerton residents to a trauma center. They both survived. The horse was euthanized onsite due to the extent of its injuries.
Virginia State Police confirmed that the buggy was equipped with lights and had a placard as required by law.
The Farnham resident, Tracy Levonne Churchill, who was driving the Jeep was charged with reckless driving endangering life, limb or property, improper lane change and driving without an operators permit or insurance.
His hearing has been set for January 7, 2022 in Richmond County General District Court in Warsaw at 9 a.m.
One of many
A serious buggy accident of this nature was a first for emergency responders in Richmond County, which has seen an influx of Amish and Mennonite residents. But according to Virginia Cooperative Extension, there is a high number of crash incidents involving slow-moving, animal drawn buggies in areas with these communities, Virginia Farm Bureau reported.
Not only do drivers in motorized vehicles need to slow down but they also need to understand that sudden noises like a blaring horn can scare the horse and create a problem, the Virginia Farm Bureau post explained.
We can’t give everybody their own lane so we have to share the road, said David Beale, Virginia Department of Transportation’s resident engineer for the Northern Neck.