PENN YAN, N.Y. (WETM) – A Geneva man has been indicted in Yates County in connection to a serious July 2021 horse & buggy accident on State Route 14A in Penn Yan that injured two people.

William Valentin was arraigned after a grand jury indicted him for two counts of felony assault in the second degree, one misdemeanor count of criminal mischief, and multiple traffic violations.

The Yates County Sheriff’s Office says Valentin was “operating at a high rate of speed” when it struck the rear of the buggy carrying two elderly passengers.

The buggy passengers, Ella Horning, 79, and Dr. Ivan Horning, 80, were ejected from the buggy and airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment. The Horning’s horse suffered injuries but survived.

“We thank the District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this serious vehicle crash,” said Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike. “Over 85% 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, NY and destroying their buggy and injuring their horse.”

The follow-up investigation was conducted by Yates County Sheriff’s Deputies, CID Investigators, Sheriff’s Accident Investigation Unit, and the Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella’s Office, who presented the case to the Grand Jury.

Valentin was placed on recognizance to the pre-trial release program supervised by the Probation Department following his arraignment.