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Grand jury returns indictment in collision ADVERTISEMENT

Grand jury returns indictment in collision

YATES COUNTY--The Yates County Sheriff's Office provided an update Saturday, Jan. 8 on the horse and buggy struck by a car accident that occurred in July. The collision occurred July 21, 2021 at 2:36 p.m. on State Route 14A just north of the village of Penn Yan. At the time of the crash, the investigation was ongoing with the expectation of a grand jury hearing.
According to Sheriff Ron Spike, District Attorney Todd Casella's office presented the case to the grand jury and they returned an indictment charging William Valentin, 55, of Geneva with two counts of assault in the second degree, criminal mischief, failure to exercise due care and following too close.
The second-degree assault, a class D felony, is charged due to the alleged recklessness causing serious injury by a dangerous instrument - a motor vehicle. The media release explains the indictment mentioned operating at a high rate of speed, not reasonable and prudent.
The motor vehicle had major front-end damage and had to be towed from the scene. Both buggy and car were northbound at the time of the collision and the buggy was displaying lighting and slow moving vehicle symbol while straddling the fog line when struck from the rear.
The criminal mischief charge stems from causing damage in excess of $250 to another's property as the buggy was demolished during the crash.
"We thank the district attorney's office for their assistance in this serious vehicle crash," said Spike. "Over 85 percent of rear-end collisions with slow moving vehicles (SMVs) are due to driver inattention, following too closely or reckless speed not reasonable and prudent for conditions. This was a powerful crash, causing the ejection and serious injury to Ivan Horning age 80, and to Ella Horning age 79, his wife who live in the town of Benton, N.Y. and destroying their buggy and injuring their horse."
The sheriff previously explained this case was unique from many other horse and buggy collisions due to the dual-lane northbound space provided at the accident location. The follow-up investigation occurred by sheriff's deputies, CID investigators, the sheriff's accident investigation unit, and the district attorney's office.

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