An awful story from yesterday morning:

EVERGREEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State Police say three children were killed and six other people were critically injured when a pickup truck crashed into a buggy Sunday morning.

It happened at 8:34 a.m. on Condensary Road at Wood Road in Evergreen Township, southeast of Sheridan.

Police say the truck was eastbound on Condensary Road when it hit the rear of the buggy, which was carrying nine people.

MSP says the three children killed were 7-, 9- and 12-year-old girls.

Six other people in the buggy were taken to the hospital by ambulance. Troopers say their injuries are life-threatening.

The driver of the pickup, a Sheridan resident, was not injured, and troopers say he was cooperative.

Sadly, buggy acccidents happen frequently, but this one was particularly bad.

As you can see from the photo, the buggy was obliterated:

This report describes the crash victims as Mennonite. This report calls them Amish.

Montcalm County does have an Amish population. Sometimes “Amish” and “Mennonite” are mistakenly used interchangeably in the media.

But at the end of the video above, you can see two men who have an Old Order Mennonite appearance.

Amazingly the horse survived, and “was fine”. It’s often the other way around in these accidents.

Safety on the road

This Horse and Buggy Driver’s Manual was created with involvement from groups including the Lancaster County Amish Safety Committee, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and “Members of the Plain Community” (Lancaster County has a large Old Order Mennonite population).

According to the foreword, the manual is meant “for horse and buggy drivers operating on public roadways. However, this manual can also be useful for motor vehicle drivers, especially out-of-town visitors and tourists, not familiar with encountering horse and buggies traveling on the road.”

Typical horse-drawn buggy speed is just five to eight miles per hour. Driving at typical automobile speeds, you will approach a buggy deceptively quickly.

Factors impairing visibility such as hills and curves, and lack of lighting at night can all contribute to accidents. Early morning and before dusk are times to be particularly wary, due to glare from the sun obstructing vision.

Even when all precautions are taken, accidents happen. No word yet on the cause of this one, though it’s reported that alcohol and drugs were not involved.

Update: Additional video, with comments from a local resident who heard the crash, and footage of the road: