Injured buggy riders face ‘long road to recovery’

Carmen Regnier sits in the buggy with miniatures Jazzzy (left) and Shiloh up front. Jazzzy died this week after the buggy was struck by a car in Avonmore, an event that sent Regnier and fiance Al Russell (not shown) to hospital with serious injuries. Jazzzy was also a popular support animal (inset photo). Courtesy photos

AVONMORE — “A long road to recovery” is ahead of an engaged couple seriously hurt this week when a car collided with their horse-drawn buggy, according to a gofundme campaign set up for Carmen Regnier and Al Russell.

One of two miniature horses in the tandem team died after the buggy was struck from behind Nov. 4 by a westbound vehicle on Fairview Drive, shortly after 4 p.m. Killed was their “beloved” Jazzzy, according to the campaign, which is closing in on a $5,000 goal to assist the couple with costs related to the tragedy — including veterinary bills.

The surviving animal, ‘Shiloh,’ is currently staying at a farm near the couples “amazing” veterinarian, says neighbour Carrie Couturier. “They are worried about her right side.”

The crash threw Regnier and Russell from the buggy, leaving them with “serious, non-life-threatening injuries,” according to police.

Couturier is not sure they will be released from hospital, noting, “They both have extensive injuries to body and head.”

She says a second buggy was in front of Regnier and Russell — driven by friends of theirs  — narrowly missed being hit as well. “The second cart holding a dad with his two kids — one of which was two years old — got out of the way by mere inches.”

Carmen Regnier and Al Russell appear at rear, following their neighbours’ buggy — a common sight in Avonmore as the miniature horse enthusiasts made their way around the village. Courtesy photo

Both teams have been fixtures around the streets of Avonmore, travelling one behind the other for safety. Regnier and Russell would take the rear position and had a slow-moving vehicle sign attached to their buggy, according to Couturier.

She says she understands the driver who hit their buggy claims not to have seen it.

“They always make us smile when they drive by with their ponies,” says local resident Adelle Densham in a Facebook comment about the injured couple. “Our grandson loves watching them and they were so generous to stop and chat. Keeping them in our prayers for a speedy recovery.”

Meanwhile, Couturier has been collecting frozen meals to have ready for Regnier and Russell’s return. “We have been gifted meals from the Cornerstone in Finch, and 12 families are working together to make meals,” she reports.


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