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'Hit and run' in Preston


Fri, Apr 9th, 2010
Posted in Police Reports

The tailgate of a 2006 Ford F-150 that was damaged from a horse-drawn buggy driven by an Amish woman on March 31 in downtown Preston. Photo by Jason Sethre

It's not often that a person witnesses a hit and run, especially when it involves a horse-drawn buggy and a Ford F-150.

As I sat at my desk on the morning of Wednesday, March 31, typing away on my computer keyboard, while casually peering out the window overlooking Main Street in downtown Preston, a commotion caught my attention. There was a horse and buggy driven by an Amish woman, and it appeared the horse was giving her a hard time. While it didn't seem unusual at the time, I later found out that what I witnessed turned about to be a hit and run.

What I played witness to was a horse swinging its head while guiding the buggy towards a parked pick-up truck. I recalled standing up and looking out the window to see what was going on.

At that time, I didn't realize how close the horse came within the rear end of the vehicle, and I didn't hear any noise that made me believe there would have been any damage.

Within seconds the woman gained control of the startled horse, backed up the buggy and guided the horse down Main Street without any further complications.

I sat back down and resumed business as usual.

Later that day, an employee of a downtown business came into the Journal office asking our staff if any of us had seen or heard any load noises that sounded like a vehicle collision.

My ears perked up.

I turned to talk with Deneen Trogstad about her inquiry.

She indicated that her pick-up had a large dent in the tailgate. I told her about the incident I had witnessed earlier that morning with a stationary pick-up and a horse-drawn buggy traveling down Main Street, but I didn't think there was any contact made from my view.

I pointed out the window at the truck located where the incident would have taken place.

Deneen said, "That's my truck."

Curious as to the extent of damage, I followed Deneen out to her pick-up truck and saw a huge dent high up on the tailgate. It appeared the horse had slammed into the rearend of the pick-up, causing significant damage.

There's no way a vehicle could have caused this type of damage.

Wearing my "CSI" hat, the lightbulb went off and I explained to Deneen what I had witnessed, realizing her dark green 2006 Ford F-150 had fallen victim to a hit and run -- and of the unusual sort.

Several days later, I heard rumors around Preston that discussion of this event had made it as far as Facebook.com.

I contacted Preston Police Chief Matt Schultz to gain a copy of the police report. He stopped by the Journal, providing the report and filling me in on what had learned about the incident. Unfortunately, other than myself, there were no other witnesses, so he had arrived at a number of roadblocks.

After meeting with Police Chief Schultz, I visited with Deneen about the incident.

She said that when she contacted her vehicle insurance provider, the representative chuckled a bit when she said her vehicle was hit by a horse-drawn buggy -- not a common incident claim throughout the nation.

At this moment, since no suspects have come forward, Deneen is absorbing the cost of repair through her own insurance.

Any persons with information relating to the March 31 hit and run are encouraged to contact the Preston Police Department at 507-765-2153.

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