Two strange accidents occurred recently after buggy horses were startled on the road. First, a tragic happening where a motorcycle rider died in Wisconsin after being struck by a horse. From the LaCrosse Tribune:
A La Farge woman died at the scene of a motorcycle crash after authorities say an Amish buggy crossed into the vehicle’s path Sunday in the town of Whitestown.
According to a press release from the Vernon County Sheriff’s office, at about 4:30 p.m., a motorcycle operated by Joseph Oium, 53, with his passenger, Kim Oium, 54, both of rural La Farge, was traveling northbound on Sandhill Road in the town of Whitestown. A single horse-drawn buggy, occupied by two juveniles, was traveling southbound. The horse became startled, crossed into the path of and struck the oncoming motorcycle. The motorcycle left the roadway, both riders were were ejected, and came to rest along the northbound shoulder.
Kim Oium suffered serious injuries and lifesaving measures were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the Vernon County Coroner’s Office. Joseph Oium reported head, back and hand injuries. He refused treatment at the scene, but may have sought medical treatment on his own. The two buggy occupants were not injured.
It’s unclear what startled the horse. One possibility is of course the motorcycle itself. Some of them are intended to make loud noises when in use. But maybe it was totally unrelated.
We learn that in the buggy were two juveniles. By “juvenile” I take it to mean someone under the age of 18. Often enough, quite young Amish children drive horse-drawn vehicles. In the recent tragic accident in which a horse-drawn vehicle “bolted” into oncoming traffic, the driver was presumably 11 years old. However in this case, the actual age is not given.
When it comes to a horse being startled, I don’t know how much relevance that has in this case. You’d suppose an older, stronger, more experienced driver might be able to exert a greater measure of control. However when an animal is startled, it is something that happens suddenly and presumably with little or no warning. A more experienced and stronger driver would presumably be able to better regain control after the startling happens however (full disclosure: if it wasn’t obvious already, I don’t drive buggy horses).
Awful story for the victim and the driver of the motorcycle, who I’m assuming was her husband. The crash is under investigation by local authorities.
Buggy Horse Startled By…Cow
In another unusual story, this one out of New York, a buggy horse was “‘spooked'” by “a nearby cow”. This caused an accident of some sort, the nature of which is unclear. The Wellville Sun cites a “trusted source” which monitors emergency service scanners. Therefore details are thin, with the added one that possibly six to eight people were injured.
That sounds like a buggy carrying a family. And an infant was airlifted from the scene for treatment with a head injury. But the good news is that in a follow-up report, the infant may be released from the hospital this week.
Normally, I would pass over this sort of thin story, if not for the detail about the cow. I’m puzzling over how this could have happened. Depending on the road, the cow could be quite near passing traffic behind a roadside fence. Did the cow cause some sort of noise? That would be the most likely cause, you would think (I doubt the mere sight of a cow would spook a horse).
Was this a particular loud and sudden “moo”? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making light of this situation. It’s just the first I’ve heard of a cow startling a horse resulting in an accident. As I tend to write about buggy accidents from various angles, I didn’t want to skip this one. In any case, good news for the infant who hopefully will make a full recovery.