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Family of seven injured in car vs. buggy accident

John Christensen
The Chronicle-Express
The Chronicle Express

A car vs. Mennonite buggy accident occurred at 5:18 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9 near 3530 East Sherman Hollow Road west of Penn Yan. Yates County Sheriff’s Deputies, First Responders from Branchport-Keuka Park Fire Dept. and Emergency Management responded to the 911 call, discovered multiple people at the scene with serious injuries.

Sheriff Ron Spike reports the preliminary investigation shows that Justin Niver, 24, of Comstock Road, Penn Yan, was westbound on East Sherman Hollow Road, and approached a slow moving surrey type of horse drawn buggy from behind at the crest of a hill traveling in same direction. The horse and buggy were driven by Mathew Sensenig, 33, of Italy-Friend Road, Penn Yan, with his wife, Katrina, and their five children.

“As Niver started to pass the buggy,” says Spike, “another vehicle approached in the opposing lane and he collided with the buggy causing it to leave the roadway and smash apart, ejecting all seven members of the Sensenig family into the ditch and field.” 

The buggy occupants were:

1. Matthew Sensenig, age 33

2. Katrina Sensenig, age 33

3. Eric Sensenig, age 9

4. Lynelle Sensenig, age 7

5. Jonathan Sensenig, age 5

6. Glendon Sensenig, age 3

7. Harlan Sensenig, age 7 months

Matthew and his wife suffered head injuries. Their 7-year-old received multiple internal injuries which are critical, and their 7-month-old baby has internal injuries.

Four medical helicopters were dispatched to the scene, says Spike. Guthrie and Lifenet each transported one, while Mercy Flight made two separate transports. Penn Yan Volunteer Ambulance Corps transported three other young boys with a variety of less serious injuries with assistance from Advanced Life Support. All the injured were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital Trauma Center in Rochester.

The horse was also seriously injured, says Spike, and a veterinarian from the Eastview Clinic was called to euthanize the animal at the scene.

Niver was not injured. Investigation continues; Deputies impounded Niver’s 2008 Malibu and the county Accident Investigation Reconstruction Unit examined the scene. Charges may be pending as the investigation continues.

UPDATE: Spike reported good news Monday morning. All the Sensenig family at Strong Memorial Hospital have been stabilized and are in improved conditions with continuing medical care. 

Those wishing to make  donations to the Sensenig family's medical costs may send them to:

Mid-West Old Order Mennonite Church

C/O Deacon John Hoover

1324 Route 54

Penn Yan, NY 14527

Those wishing to make  donations to the Sensenig family's medical costs may send them to:

Mid-West Old Order Mennonite Church

C/O Deacon John Hoover

1324 Route 54

Penn Yan, NY 14527

Justin Niver's 2008 Chevrolet Malibu.