Statement from Mary Ruth Armbruster on accident at Jenny's Dexter Market
Mary Ruth Armbruster, who was injured at Jenny's Dexter Market Sept. 24, released the following statement today:
Now that I am finally out of surgeries and no longer in extreme pain, nor heavily medicated, I am writing to clear up a number of misconceptions and mis-statements that have been presented to Ann Arbor.com by Burton Hoey and others:
1. Mr. Hoey told Ann Arbor.com that “The market will cover the young woman’s hospital bills.” Neither Mr. Hoey, nor his daughter Jenny Lambers, nor Jenny’s Market have paid any of my hospital bills, nor have they made any offer whatsoever to pay for my bills. Those bills will likely total hundreds of thousands of dollars for my surgeries, hospital costs, and many months of physical therapy.
2. Although several employees from Jenny’s Farm Stand have contacted me and sent kind regards, neither Mr. Hoey nor Jennifer Lambers have contacted me to find out how badly I am injured. Recent circumstances have indicated a misconception among some that I am “going to make a complete recovery”. Unfortunately my prognosis is paralysis from the waist down, with little to no chance of regaining full mobility.
3. Contrary to Mr. Hoey’s claim to Ann Arbor.com that “the hayrides are safe, his horses are well trained, and his equipment is in good condition,” and that “our equipment didn’t fail, and the wagon didn’t fail” my being injured is a direct result of faulty equipment and a course for the hay ride that included a dangerously steep downhill over uneven ground.” This steepness of the hill caused the young and less-experienced team of horses to run downhill, causing a dangerous buildup of speed. During this section of the course, my seat became dislodged from beneath me, and I was left standing and pulling against the reins with my entire body weight in an effort to slow the team before making the final turn at the end of the hill. Because the reins provided by Mr. Hoey as a part of the harnesses for this team were mismatched and uneven, I was holding one rein in each hand in order to adequately steer. At the bottom of the hill, one of the horses tripped, and because all my standing weight was being put against the reins, the 2000lbs of falling horse jerked me forward and I was pulled off the wagon. I was subsequently run over by the wagon and in the tumble beneath it, broke my spine between the T11 and T12 vertebrae.
Mary Ruth Armbruster