20-Year-Old Killed In North Country (NY) Buggy Crash

This fatal accident happened very early Sunday morning – in reality, more likely the tail end of Saturday night:

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. — A North Country man was killed in a crash after the horse-drawn Amish buggy he was riding was hit by an SUV, according to State Police.

Troopers say the accident happened around 5:15 a.m. on Sunday on US Highway 11 near Bristol Road in the town of Gouverneur.

An investigation found that the horse-drawn buggy, occupied by Levi Swartzentruber, 20, and Mose Swartzentruber, 23, both from Antwerp, was hit by a 2002 Ford Expedition driven by a 36-year-old North Country man.

Troopers say Levi was pronounced dead at the scene, while Mose was taken to Gouverneur Hospital for leg and shoulder pain. The horse was severely injured and was put down by law enforcement.

This is St. Lawrence County, which is home to the large Swartzentruber settlement at Heuvelton. However this incident happened nearer the town of Somerville, site of a small one-district Amish settlement. The two victims are said to be from Antwerp, a nearby village in Jefferson County. The crash remains under investigation.

No details on how it happened, though at the time of the accident it was still 90 minutes before sunrise. Condolences to this family who lost such a young life. I sometimes wonder how the survivors feel in these accidents – especially when others are killed and by luck or good fortune you walk away relatively untouched.

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    1. Feelings

      From what I understand, those who survive accidents in which others are killed, often live with ‘survivor guilt’ of some degree for the rest of their lives.
      I feel also for the wider family in these instances, as they too have to live the rest of their lives with the trauma.
      Stay safe

      1. That’s kind of what I had in mind. It is something to think that a person sitting just a foot or two over can survive while another is killed.

    2. Buggy accident

      My deepest sympathy to family and for the horse. What is wrong with these auto drivers. This should not of happened. These roads should not be shared with autos. Either close roads for autos or make new route safe for these people. Something needs to be done. Reminds me in Simi valley residents wanted a stop sign in a dangerous area. It took a death of a child and they finally installed one. I pray something good for these people to have a safer way to travel.

      1. I don’t think we have a good picture of how the accident actually happened. Was the buggy sufficiently visible? Though reckless or careless driving is often involved, I just don’t want to automatically throw drivers under the bus. There was the case earlier last December of children killed in Lancaster County when hit by a truck. Then it emerged that the buggy had failed to stop at a stop sign.

    3. C.J.


      Such a sad story…2 brothers or cousins? And a fine driving horse!
      A real life changer, for parents, siblings, friends and families…and certainly for the one left behind.
      I myself, am the survivor of a car accident, over 20 years ago now. The other driver crossed the center line on a four lane highway, hit me head-on, and was killed. There was absolutely NOTHING I could’ve done to prevent the accident, and yet the memories live on.
      Some said, “Your guardian angel was watching over you” and then my thought was,…”Well, what about His?” I cannot fathom HOW someone would ever get over the trauma IF THEY were responsible for the accident?
      Feelings of sorrow and guilt, as to why I was saved and he was not….also, what about his family that he left behind?
      Lots of prayers, and a good Christian counselor, can help you get focused again, however, it doesn’t ever go away, at least in my case.
      PRAYERS for all involved…May God surround them all with his Perfect Peace and Love, after this sad and terrible loss.

      1. Wow – hard to imagine going through that experience C.J. Even when you are totally not at fault, these kinds of feelings can remain…Glad you have been able to manage with it even though of course nothing erases the event.