A few hours west of Charlotte, a quaint Labor Day tradition reminds people of America’s rugged past. Each year, hobbyists assemble a wagon train and ride slowly on wooden wheels across the county on the first Monday of September.
This year the rhythmic clopping of horse hooves was shattered by what sounded like a bomb going off when a pick-up truck rammed into the procession of covered wagons. One man was killed in the collision and multiple people were injured and hospitalized, including at least one child.
News reports said a horse was put down at the scene of the crash in Maggie Valley because of its severe injuries.
The driver of the Ford Ranger that crashed into the wagon train was described as a man in his 20s or 30s. He was seen talking on his phone after the wreck. One witness described him as “out of it” and appearing unconcerned about the destruction he had caused moments earlier.
A child unidentified at the time the news report was compiled was hospitalized with unspecified injuries. The child was estimated to be 8 or 9 years old.
Each year, about 18 wagons and teams of horses are gathered to ride across the county. The event concludes with the Labor Day parade in the town of Canton.
The report indicated that wagon train participants were shaken by the crash. They consoled each other afterwards, walking up and down the line of covered wagons, hugging and crying and praying with one another.
We don’t know yet why the pick-up crashed into the slow-moving, very visible wagon train, but we do know that many wrecks are caused by distracted or intoxicated drivers.
Those injured by careless, negligent drivers can file legal claims for compensation for damages. You can speak with a Charlotte personal injury attorney about your rights in these matters.