An SUV rear-ended a horse-and-buggy on East River Road in Whitefield the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 4, causing damage to both vehicles but no injuries.
George C. Bronn, 39, of Whitefield, was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Equinox north on East River Road at the time of the accident, according to Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Dennison. Henry Miller, 24, of Whitefield, was operating a horse-and-buggy north on East River Road in front of Bronn.
Bronn was the sole occupant of the SUV. There were two passengers in the horse-and-buggy: Jerry Miller, 23, of Heuvelton, N.Y., and Paul Troyer, 25, of De Kalb Junction, N.Y.
The buggy was beginning to round a corner on East River Road at the time of the accident, according to Dennison. Bronn saw the buggy and braked and swerved in an attempt to avoid it, but the front passenger side of the SUV struck the rear end of the buggy.
The buggy went into the northbound ditch. All three occupants were ejected, according to Dennison. The SUV skidded into the southbound lane before coming to rest. The accident occurred at 10:06 a.m.
There were no injuries to the occupants of either vehicle or to the horse drawing the buggy, according to Dennison. The buggy sustained about $3,000 of damage and the SUV “several thousand” dollars of damage.
Bronn faces a class D charge of operating after suspension – habitual offender, according to Dennison.
Bronn was wearing a seat belt.
Dennison was the investigating officer. The accident did not affect traffic except for a brief time during the removal of the buggy from the ditch.
Buggies have become a common sight in Whitefield since the arrival of Amish settlers in March. Signs on area roads warn motorists of their presence.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brendan W. Kane said Wednesday’s accident was, to his knowledge, the first in the county involving one of the buggies.
Dennison said the buggies have reflectors and carry lanterns after dark.
“People have to slow down and be more aware of where things are when they’re driving,” he said.