Grand jury will decide whether criminal charges warranted in serious sedan-buggy crash in Yates County

Sheriff Ron Spike called the crash involving a horse-and-buggy last week “another sad event of not sharing the roadway.”

There have been multiple serious crashes involving vehicles and buggies in Yates County over the last several months. While investigators from the Yates County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office work together to determine if criminal charges are warranted- the driver has already been ticketed for failure to exercise due caution in approaching a horse and following too closely.

“We have discussed this case with the District Attorney Todd Casella for consideration of criminal negligence assault by a vehicle charges,” Spike added recently. “DA Casella has agreed to present the matter to the next session of the Yates County Grand Jury for their consideration if criminal charges are appropriate.”

Ivan Horning, 80, and Ella Horning, 79, were traveling north on Route 14A near the intersection with North Main Street when their buggy was struck from behind by a sedan. That vehicle was operated by 55-year-old William Valentin, of Geneva.

The Hornings were ejected from the buggy- being airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital. They suffered severe injuries. While facing a long road to recovery- the two have seen their condition improve over the last several days, according to Jere Horning, who spoke with The Chronicle-Express. He runs the family business, Hornings’ Greenhouse, which was founded by Ivan and Ella in 1980. “It’s really touching how many people have called to ask [how we’re doing],” he said. Jere is a first responder in the Benton Fire District, just a half-mile away from where the crash occurred. “Most people don’t really appreciate the trauma those people face responding to accidents like this,” Jere added, speaking to the challenges faced by first responders. “If I had been there, they would have had to pull me back because of the added stress from them being my parents.”

The Hornings’ oldest son Mervin was killed in a similar crash when he was bicycling to work on April 9, 1992. He was 29 at the time.

Another crash involving a buggy in Yates: Two people airlifted with serious injuries

The Yates County Sheriff’s Office has released an update surrounding a serious crash involving a motor vehicle and horse-and-buggy on Route 14A.

Ella Horning, 79, and her husband, Ivan Horning, 80, both of Penn Yan, were traveling along Route 14A in the northbound lanes as Ivan was driving.

Without warning, they were rear ended by a Chevy Impala also traveling in the northbound lane.

The section of the road both drivers were traveling has two northbound lanes.

The buggy was destroyed on impact and the horse ran off but was later captured.

Mr. and Mrs. Horning were airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital for serious head and internal injuries, including fractures. Both remain hospitalized.

William Valentin, 55 of Geneva, was the driver of the motor vehicle and was not  injured in the collision.

Deputies were able to rule out any intoxication or substance abuse with testing at the site of the accident.

Contributing factors included distraction or inattention and speed.

Valentin was issued with a ticket for failure to exercise due care in approaching a horse, as well as following too closely.

Sheriff Ron Spike said they discussed the case with District Attorney Todd Casella for considering criminal negligence assault by a vehicle charges.

Casella agreed to present the matter to the next session of the Yates County Grand Jury.

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