This wasn’t the way I planned to end my voyage across Newfoundland by mule and wagon. Saturday afternoon, October 6 2012, a four-door vehicle drove head-on into the back of my wagon. There were no skid marks or signs of collision avoidance at the scene. The impact was strong enough to separate the wagon in two. Mule Polly, the driver of the vehicle and I are okay.
The collision occurred in Lethbridge. The community was the final destination of my 4-month, 1000 km voyage across Newfoundland by mule and wagon. The accident took place about 5 km from where a group of friends was assembled to welcome Polly and me at their home.
Polly and I were travelling south bound. The sun was low. The driver that struck the wagon said the sun was in his eyes. There were no skid marks or other signs of collision avoidance evident at the scene. The impact deployed both the vehicle’s air bags and ruptured the radiator. The car was removed from the scene by tow truck.
The bright red wagon Polly and I were traveling in was marked with three high visibility safety flags. It displayed the slow moving vehicle as required by law.
Following the accident, mule Polly and my wagon were trailered to Jesse and Louise Peddle’s home in Lethbridge. Polly is sore but expected to be okay. In addition to harness breakage, the wagon suffered multiple broken welds, bent framework, body and roof damage.
Today, October 7, is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Now I have something to be really thankful about. It could have been much worse. A few hours before my wagon was struck, a local teenager lost his life in a vehicular accident. By comparison, we have emerged unscathed.
I would like to thank the citizens of Lethbridge and Newfoundland for their concern and assistance. Thanks as well to everyone who brought Polly treats after her close call.
October 9 update: Polly and I are currently dealing with wagon repairs and preparing for our return to North Carolina.
(Map note: the map shows the general area of Lethbridge, not the site of the accident.)
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