Child ejected in buggy accident

Published 5:18 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

Virginia State Police (VSP) were called to the scene of an accident Thursday just before 10 a.m. that involved a horse and buggy and a car near Cullen in Charlotte County.

According VSP spokeswoman Susan Rowland, the horse and buggy was traveling north on Route 47 when a Ford sedan moved to pass it and the car’s passenger side fender caught the wheel of the buggy.

“The horse pulling the buggy spooked, and a child was ejected from the side of the buggy, which remained upright,” Rowland said. “The child suffered minor injuries and was transported to a nearby hospital in an abundance of caution for examination.”

Rowland said the driver of the sedan was charged with following too close.

This is the second vehicle accident involving a horse and buggy on Route 47 in less than a month.

On July 8, a horse and buggy was traveling eastbound on Route 47 when a Ford F-150 pickup truck moved to pass the buggy in the westbound lane.

“As the pickup truck began passing the buggy, a Ford Taurus attempted (to) move between the pickup and the buggy, clipping both vehicles in the process and running the buggy off the right side of the road,” police said of the earlier accident.

Rowland noted that the buggy tipped over as it left the roadway, but the driver and four children inside were uninjured.

“I’m still getting people who are concerned about the signs on the highway for the Amish buggies,” Red House/Cullen Supervisor Nancy Carwile said during June board of supervisors’ meeting.

The supervisors recently discussed concerns about the safety of Amish buggies traveling on the highway following a proposal to add additional safety signs.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Resident Engineer Scot Shippee told supervisors the agency has looked at different options. However, a study must be done so the signs are not overused.

Shippee said during a recent board meeting as soon as the signs come in, VDOT will work to get some of them installed. He noted it’s hard to study where the signs are most needed without making the community feel isolated and picking out a certain address.

“What we’re trying to do is look for gathering points,” Shippee said. He said locations such as schools and churches would be the main focus, as they surround roads with higher volumes of traffic.

He said roads would be taken on a case-by-case basis to see how many vehicles are going through there.

“Generally, if you’re under 250 vehicles a day you anticipate that it’s primarily local traffic through there, so that’s one of the things we’re looking at as well,” Shippee said. “There’s really no good formula for putting these up … my biggest concern was I don’t want to put so many of them up that you just become blind to them.”

Carwile said some of the main concerns she hears about roadways are for children walking along the road and going to the schools.

Shippee said if there is an area of concentration with a lot of traffic, VDOT would take a look at the location and possibly put signs up.