A Northern Virginia woman is hobbling around on crutches this week after having been thrown from her horse. It happened Sunday, she says, when a motorcyclist deliberately "revved" his engine at a horse crossing.
Among the 5000 acres of land at the Manassas National Battlefield Park, there are 21 miles of trails set aside for hikers and for horseback riding. Nowadays, the Battlefield Park is bisected by two major roadways, on which vehicles drive commonly at about 40 miles an hour. Motorists are warned by signs as they come upon horse trail crossings, but experienced riders usually wait for a break in traffic before crossing.
A 44 year old Northern Virginia woman, who preferred that her name not be used, is now on crutches because of a severely sprained ankle. That occurred when she was thrown from her horse, Sunday, at one of the park crossings on Rt. 29.
She and a fellow equestrian had halted their horses, when a string of cars politely came to a stop to allow them to cross the roadway.
"We had cars that [had] stopped on either side of the road (for us) as we crossed," recalled the injured woman. "We were about to the other side when we heard some honking. To my left I saw a motorcycle headed our way."
According to the equestrian, the motorcyclist, apparently impatient with the stopped traffic, crossed the double-yellow line, and came at them on the "wrong" side of the roadway.
"He, um, he passed behind our horses [by] only about four feet," said the victim. "And, as he did so, he revved his engine, which, of course, spooked the horses, and caused the horses to take off and I wasn't able to stay on."
In addition to the sprained ankle, the thrown rider is suffering from a "whiplash" neck injury, which she hopes will not be permanent. The equestrian was wearing a helmet. She is grateful that a good samaritan motorist gave her a ride from the scene of the accident.
The woman who was thrown wishes the National Park Service would find a way to slow traffic at the horseback crossings. The acting superintendent of the park could not be immediately reached for comment.
The injured equestrian also hopes police figure out who is the motorcyclist who endangered two horses and the two human who were riding them.
Prince William County police confirm they did receive a report of the accident. One officer told us it's a possible reckless driving offense.
The auto drivers who had stopped for the equestrians told police the motorcyclist was male, and was wearing green and black. They say the bike had saddlebags, and the letters AK were on the side.
People may leave an anonymous tip at the Prince William County Crimesolvers phone number: 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
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