It’s not uncommon to hear about multi-vehicle wrecks, auto-pedestrian accidents, or auto-bicycle crashes. But other types of collisions do take place on Illinois roads. And even though the vehicles or circumstances might differ slightly, they all operate under the same laws and principles of responsibility and culpability.
An unusual accident occurred in Hancock County about a mile north of Augusta on Wednesday morning just south of Augusta Lake. A man was injured when a car struck his vehicle: a horse and buggy.
The 79-year old Colchester man was traveling southbound on Illinois Route 61 at about 10:40am. A 2004 Chevy Cavalier (that was also heading south) which was driven by a 16-year old Bowen girl struck the horse-and-buggy, ejecting the man onto the ground. He suffered serious injuries and had to be transported to Blessing Hospital in Quincy, where he is now listed in stable condition. Neither the driver nor her 16-year old female passenger from Plymouth were hurt.
Admittedly, it may be strange in this day and age to see a horse and buggy puttering along on a highway. But that vehicle still enjoys the same rights of the road as any passenger car, motorcycle, or bicyclist. That means that a horse and buggy can occupy a lane of traffic, and other vehicles must slow down and follow it and/or give it plenty of room when trying to pass. The news article doesn’t indicate whether the horse and buggy was sideswiped, rear-ended, or otherwise struck. But it does note that police cited the teen driver for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident – which makes her responsible for the elderly man’s injuries.
If he chooses to do so, the 79-year old victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the girl for hospital expenses and other medical costs. Technically, the girl’s parents would be named as defendants in such a suit because the teenager is still a minor.