The woman who was injured when a car hit a horse-drawn wagon in Waterville on Christmas Day has died.

Kathy Marciarille, 56, of Rome, died Sunday night, according to a news release from Waterville Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey.

Marciarille was being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland for injuries suffered in the crash, when she was thrown from the horse-drawn wagon and run over by the car that hit it, but she succumbed to those injuries on Sunday at approximately 5 p.m., Rumsey said.

The wagon at the Elks lodge Christmas dinner was carrying 14 people when a car driven by Richard Libby, 68, of Clinton, hit it from behind. Six others in the wagon suffered minor injuries, according to police.

Police say Libby was blinded by the sun in the 2:30 p.m. accident on Industrial Street. His age was originally reported as 73, but he is 68, Rumsey said in Monday’s release.

Marciarille suffered the most serious injury when she fell off the wagon, was run over by Libby’s car and then trapped underneath, according to police.


Marciarille had to be removed from under the car by emergency responders. She was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Unit in Waterville for emergency treatment before being transferred by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

All but two of the 14 passengers on the wagon ride were adults, and all were volunteers who had worked at the Christmas dinner. The two toddler-age children on the ride were not hurt.

The two horses pulling the wagon, Princess and Belle, also were not hurt, police said.

The accident happened shortly after 2:30 p.m. when the horse-drawn wagon, part of the popular free Central Maine Family Christmas Dinner held annually at the Elks lodge and owned by S&S Carriage Rides, of Sidney, was traveling west on the road. Libby, also traveling west on the road, struck the carriage from behind when he was blinded by the sun, police said.

On the event’s Facebook page in a post addressed to Marciarille, Joe Hyatt, a volunteer at the event and one of the passengers on the wagon, describes how she sang “like an angel” as the hayride set off down Industry Road.

Hyatt, 59, listed by police as being from Arundel, wrote that after a day of volunteering at the dinner he was tired and didn’t want to go on the hayride for the volunteers, but didn’t want to be the spoiler for the rest of his family.


“You have the most beautiful voice, and I was suddenly glad we went along,” he wrote.

“I am telling you all of this because you made a tremendous impact on everyone with your angelic voice and beautiful eyes,” he wrote. “You deserve to know that you were a channel for God’s Love even to your last moment before the accident.”

He also wrote about the sun and the impact of the car hitting the wagon.

“I closed my eyes because the sun was too much and a minute later opened them but turned my head toward the rear because the sun was just too intense,” he wrote. “That’s when I saw the man approaching the wagon with his car. He hit us without braking or even swerving. He was looking straight ahead. I guessed the sun was in his eyes so he didn’t see us.”

“I got thrown, landing on my back. My wife also got thrown as did the man next to me.”

Hyatt and other passengers could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.


When the accident happened, he and other volunteers attempted to get Libby’s car off of Marciarille, and Hyatt wrote that he held her hand.

Cathy Simmons said Saturday she has been driving horses since she was 15 and this is the first accident that she has been involved in. Still, “I’m always worried about it. People fly by us like we weren’t there.

“I didn’t even know what was happening until someone started saying there was someone trapped under a car,” Simmons said.

As the wagon driver, she said her first instinct was to get the horses steady, fearing that if the car somehow was attached to the wagon and the horses moved, they would drag the car farther, injuring the person trapped under it.

Police said Saturday that information from the investigation into the accident by both the Waterville Police Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office will be forwarded to a legislative committee that is studying hayride safety.

The Legislature approved a bill in June that formed a task force to look into regulating hayrides similar to how amusement park rides are regulated. The task force stemmed from LD 1057 — called Cassidy’s Law and proposed by Rep. Robert Nutting, R-Oakland — that asked such rides be regulated. The move to form a task force passed in June after the House voted 146-0 to overturn a Gov. Paul LePage veto.

Nutting’s proposal came after Oakland resident Cassidy Charette, 17, was killed in a hayride accident in Mechanic Falls in October 2014. In that accident, an investigation showed a mechanical failure in the Jeep pulling the hay wagon loaded with teenagers caused it to crash into a tree. The accident injured 21 others.

The task force will decide if hayrides and similar events should be regulated and how. A report from the group to the Legislature is expected in February.

Comments are no longer available on this story