While the families of two people killed in the collision with two horses are finalizing funeral arrangements, deputies are continuing their investigation.
David Johnson, his longtime girlfriend Amanda Carey, and their close friend Michael Moulthroup had a quiet Sunday evening together: The trio had watched a football game and had dinner at the couple’s home on Curtis Road in Hemlock.
They decided to call it a night fairly early, since Moulthroup had to work early the next morning — he had just been accepted into a carpenters’ union.
The three got into Johnson’s 1993 Saturn station wagon and headed toward Moulthroup’s place at 9125 Culberson Road in Dansville. While driving south on a stretch of County Road 37 in Canadice just after 9 p.m., an unfathomable tragedy happened: Johnson’s car struck two horses that had broken through a fence nearby.
Mr. Moulthroup, 23, and Ms. Carey, 21, were killed, as were the horses. Johnson, 23, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where he was treated for neck pain and released.
Days later, more details are emerging and loved ones are finalizing plans to lay Mr. Moulthroup and Ms. Carey to rest.
Ontario County sheriff’s deputies who are overseeing the crash investigation initially reported that Mr. Moulthroup and Ms. Carey were not wearing seat belts. However, Mr. Moulthroup’s family said they were told otherwise — that Johnson and Ms. Carey were both buckled in; only Mr. Moulthroup, who was sitting in the back seat, was not.
Sheriff Phil Povero said Tuesday afternoon that while both Johnson and Ms. Carey, the front-seat passenger, were wearing the automatic shoulder harness, they had not fastened the manual lap belts.
Johnson was driving about 44 miles per hour when his car struck the first horse, which was standing partially in the lane ahead. That horse, Povero said, struck the front driver’s side of the vehicle, including the windshield. The horse was pushed to the side of the road. The second horse, also in the lane ahead, struck the vehicle and was thrown up onto the roof over the back seat, the sheriff explained.
Johnson lost consciousness “momentarily, upon impact,” Povero said. When he came to, the vehicle was stopped. He freed himself and was able to pull Ms. Carey from the wreckage, the sheriff said.
The sheriff’s office is still investigating the crash. Deputies are awaiting the results of autopsy reports to determine the causes of death for Mr. Moulthroup and Mr. Carey; they suffered massive internal injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene by an Ontario County coroner.
“This tragedy should remind motorists that their attention to the road while they’re driving must be constant,” Povero said, “because animals or other objects can rapidly enter the highway and result in a collision or a tragedy of this nature.”
Mr. Moulthroup’s sister, Lisa Moulthroup, said it was a tragic, “freak accident.”
She said her brother and Johnson went to school together in Dansville and were best friends. Ms. Carey and Johnson had been dating for about three years and were living together at 5430 Curtis Road in Hemlock.
Calling hours for Mr. Moulthroup will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Hindle Funeral Home at 271 Main St. in Dansville. A funeral service will begin at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at Greenmount Cemetery in Dansville at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Calling hours for Ms. Carey will be held at the St. George-Stanton Funeral Home, 109 W. Naples St. in Wayland, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday; her burial will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Cuba, Allegany County.
Lisa Moulthroup said her grief-stricken family is finding comfort from the many who have turned out to support them in the past few days.
“We’re getting through it,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of friends that have been here for us.”
Jessica Pierce can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 250, or at email@example.com.