A Somerset County Sheriff’s deputy examines damage to a carriage Monday following a crash on River Road in Norridgewock that injured both the horse and driver of the carriage. Photo courtesy of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office

NORRIDGEWOCK — The driver of a vehicle that crashed into a horse and buggy Monday afternoon in Norridgewock has been charged, police said.

Brittany Guerette, 34, of Skowhegan, has been charged with misdemeanor driving to endanger as a result of the crash that injured both the horse and operator of the carriage, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said in a statement issued Tuesday evening.

Guerette was driving west on River Road in Norridgewock shortly after 1:30 p.m. when she attempted to pass the horse and carriage, which was also traveling west, Lancaster said.

Guerette’s vehicle hit the carriage, damaging both the vehicle and the carriage, Lancaster said.

The horse suffered severe injuries but was still alive as of Tuesday evening, according to Lancaster.

The operator of the carriage, Chriss Miller, 47, of Mercer, was transported to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan with injuries that were not considered life threatening, Lancaster said.


In addition to the class E misdemeanor charge of driving to endanger, the Sheriff’s Office issued Guerette several traffic violations, Lancaster said. They are imprudent speed, failure to yield to right of way, improper passing, failure to use caution when passing an animal, and failure to maintain control of vehicle (distracted driving).

Guerette is set to appear in Somerset County Unified Criminal Court in Skowhegan on July 3, the sheriff said.

If convicted on the class E charge, Guerette faces minimum penalties that include a driver’s license suspension of 30 to 180 days or a fine of at least $575.

Lancaster said the crash is a good opportunity to remind drivers of Maine’s motor vehicle law that provides protections for animals on public ways.

“People have a right to ride an animal or drive an animal-drawn vehicle on a public way, and motorists need to be aware that when traveling in the same direction of an animal on a way, an operator must use reasonable caution in passing the animal,” Lancaster said in his statement. “An operator may not knowingly operate a motor vehicle in a manner to annoy, startle, harass or frighten an animal being ridden or driven on or near a public way.”

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