When you look at this picture of Katie and her friend Bronson holding Sky and Sapphire and looking down at what looks like a wheel, you might be able to start to piece together what happened. Rebecca and Katie were out on the first wagonnette ride of the day. They had a light load, mostly of little kids. Everything was going normally. The horses were acting just fine. They went down to the golf course and were going to turn around and head back for another load. They went sideways through a depression along side the road as they were turning around and the wagonnette leaned hard (but nothing different from other trips) to the right. Apparently one of the spokes in the wheel under pressure of the lean splintered and gave way. Then in quick succession the rest of the spokes broke and the wheel was compromised. The wagonnette dropped down to the hub and since it was already leaning that way, it continued to tip and basically tipped over and all passengers were ejected. It all happened quickly. There was certainly potential for injury. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but everyone was understandably a bit traumatized.
Thankfully, this all happened while the wagonette was moving at a very slow speed, but with horses you never know how they’ll react to something like this. In this case, Sky and Sapphire were remarkably composed and Katie and Rebecca handled the situation perfectly. They were both ejected and the horses just continued pulling the wagonnette forward. They did not bolt which is a minor miracle, since no one was at the reigns and since there was a lot of noise and confusion going on behind them. And thankfully all the passengers except for one, was dumped out and clear of the vehicle. The one remaining passenger was holding on inside the wagonnette. Rebecca and Katie ran after the horses and yelled at them to “Whoa” while also yelling at the this last 11 year old girl to jump out. But again the horses weren’t running, just walking forward, probably wondering what was going on and why the load was so heavy all the sudden. They gave heed to the call to whoa and stopped at which time the young lady jumped out triumphantly cheering “Yeah!! I made it!” She thought it was quite the adventure!
Where was I, you ask? Well, I had just turned the rig over to the girls and had gone in to get cleaned up, when my phone rang. It was Rebecca and she was frantic and near tears telling me there was a problem with the wagonnette and it had tipped over. She said no one was hurt, but I bolted out of the house and jumped on the Ranger and got my brother Steven (dressed up as a Milford Football Player) and we sped down to the scene. We found all the passengers kind of standing around in one spot and the wagonnette and horses in another spot by the wagonnette about 100 yards away. I checked with the adults there and then all the kids to make sure everyone was ok. Everyone was shaken, but not hurt. Thank goodness. I checked in with each parent later in the evening to make sure all were ok. All assured me everything was ok. That could have been a disaster. We’ve never had any issue like that before. I’m going to have those wheels checked. I’ve got to get a brand new wheel altogether. Yikes! Rebecca and Katie did such a good job of minimizing the danger once the wheel broke. No one who was a part of that will forget it. Oh yeah, Noah was on the ride also. He didn’t even have a scratch.
When I think about the possible injuries that could have resulted, it scares me. I’m sure we were being watched over. Just the week prior I had taken my parents, and my mom’s 3 sisters and one brother-in-law for a ride on the wagonnette. That’s 6 passengers all in their seventies (or close to it) and had we had a similar accident, there’s no telling what injuries would have resulted. Then just the day before, was the homecoming parade at Milford too. Oh my, what a blessing that if this had to happen, it happened like it did, at slow speed with no injuries.