3 Amish Children Killed By Drunk Driver In Michigan

An intoxicated driver rear-ended an Amish carriage Friday, taking three young lives:

A fatal Friday collision involving an allegedly drunk truck driver and a horse-drawn buggy killed three children, said Michigan State Police.

The Algansee Township crash, in which the pickup truck driver drove into the back of an Amish buggy, threw seven passengers — five children and two adults — from the carriage.

MSP trooper Seth Reed said two children, a 2-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, died on the scene. Three others, including a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old, sustained serious injuries, according to ABC.

The 4-year-old boy later died at a local hospital, Reed said.

The 21-year-old driver was found to be intoxicated when the crash occurred. This took place in Branch County in southern Michigan.

A month ago, a hit-and-run car-buggy accident also happened in this community. Thankfully no injuries occurred then.

Photo: Don Reid/The Daily Reporter

What more can be said about this horrible event? These accidents result from people’s decisions. Thinking that it is “okay” to drive while drunk is thinking I just can’t understand.

Prayers for the families.

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    1. Mike Austing

      For Shame!

      This must stop! We have too many accidents also in Holmes County, OH from inattentiveness, DUIs, and other causes.

    2. CoraVee

      This happened a few miles from where I live. I know the Amish family and the family of the driver, although neither family very well. Just think how you would feel if your son did this. The Fryes are a Christian family, attending my church, a very solid, Bible teaching, loving church. Imagine if your child did this, and don’t say it would be impossible (unless you don’t have kids.) There but for the grace of God go any of us. Just pray for every single person involved–imagine being the emergency personnel, for instance. This is hard on the whole community which encompasses Branch and Hillsdale counties, MI, Steuben Co IN and happened only a few miles from Williams Co, OH.

      god have His hand of mercy on the Graber family as well as the Frye

      1. Must be terrible for both families, in very different ways.

    3. George

      consequences needed

      My tears just won’t stop after reading this. The USA for whatever reason is too tolerant of drunk driving. I recently attended a wedding in Belgium where much alcohol was consumed but no drinkers drove themselves home. My understanding is autos of suspected drunk drivers are impounded on the spot and conviction results in permanent forfeiture. The stakes are high enough that drinking and driving is considered by most to be too risky. There is a crying need for American lawmakers to take this problem more seriously. Penalties for a first drunk driving conviction in the USA are mere inconveniences. A minimum for first convictions should be vehicle forfeiture plus jail time with sharply escalating penalties for succeeding convictions. Hard prison time for second and succeeding convictions would get the attention of any relatively sane person.

      1. Rozy

        Choices have consequences

        I’ve long thought the USA is too lenient on drunk drivers. Years ago I worked in a place where I learned more about the laws here and how they compared to those in Sweden–where anyone arrested for driving while intoxicated was automatically put in jail for 30 days, no exceptions! People were so afraid of losing their jobs that they rarely, if ever drove impaired to any degree. Just losing your driver’s license is not a deterrent as there is no consequence for driving unless you get caught. Those who are irresponsible enough to drive while under the influence of any substance that impairs their vision and judgement are not responsible enough to be let loose on society. Those caught texting while driving should face the same consequences!

        Those families do not deserve to suffer because of the selfishness of the drunk driver. May God comfort and strengthen them all.

        1. We have more leeway overall vs. European countries in many of which have very low permitted blood alcohol levels (.02 and less) which essentially rules out most drinking if a driver wants to stay on the right side of the law. In the US (also much more of a car culture given our greater distances and sprawling cities) the levels permit a drink or two depending on a person’s size, time since drinking, etc. I wonder if this is a case of someone very drunk or someone who was “only” somewhat over the limit. By the photo it looks like it was a daytime accident.

          1. CoraVee Caswell

            It was technically evening, but more like what we call late afternoon. I don’t know the exact time. I do know this is a completely rural area. There is constant movement of farm machinery at any time of day on any of our roads, especially this time of year. Only someone with impaired judgement would not have been watching for slow moving vehicles. And the driver was someone from around here, and old enough to know the hazards.

      2. C. J.


        I agree that MUCH stricter laws are needed for Drunk Driving. In our state, 3 teen girls were killed recently by a drunken driver, who had many previous convictions. This story is all too common, day after day, week after week, and year after year. Maybe hard labor, even working for the families during the day, and in prison overnight….or back to a chain gang, cleaning up highways….OR SOMETHING, to repay the family for horse, buggy…whatever was lost. Cannot put a price on the lives of children, but something to hold these people responsible for their senseless actions. Of course, the Amish will not press charges, but right is right, and offenders should be held responsible. Maybe if laws were much stricter, it could change these repeat offenders and make others stop and think?.
        I agree with the person who knows both families…. she is right, it can happen to anyone who makes the decision to drive after drinking. My Mother used to say “Just show me 1 person who has benefited from drinking alcohol”. After 50+ years, I can still hear her say that, and I agree. So much damage has been caused because of drinking, in broken homes, accidents, etc. and sometimes history repeats itself, over and over.
        Praying for the Amish family, their extended families,…and also the young man and his family, that was driving drunk. May he seek God’s guidance ….and may his family be comforted, as well.

    4. Keith M Lucy


      This is another heartbreaking occurrence, I’m praying for both families involved. May the Lord bring them comfort.

    5. Pamela Miller


      This is so sad and never should have happened. The Amish buggies
      are very fragile compared to cars and trucks, and, as a result, the
      passengers are more at risk of injury even when intoxicated drivers
      are not involved. We need stricter DUI laws, but also communities with
      Amish need to find safer ways for buggies to travel. I pray for comfort
      for all of those involved in this tragic accident.

    6. Pity the US

      My question to our country’s leaders is: Why can’t we take some lessons from other nations regarding traffic laws, women’s rights, affordable health care and myriad other issues which make us look like a bunch of backward fools. How many more innocent Amish and English must die because of archaic laws which punish only a select number of drunk drivers. That I know of both Sweden and Belgium are fairly egalitarian countries. Not so here in the US. If you are rich or super-rich, chances of receiving time for drunk driving is almost nil. I recall a few years ago when a 16 year old boy drove drunk in a brand new truck his daddy bought him and he killed a couple of teenagers and made a paraplegic of another and he got off almost scot free because his lawyer pleaded “affluenza.” I guess there’s lots of truth in the old adage; “money talks and BS walks.”

    7. Ronald Wallace


      This happens all to often by drunk drivers. They condem guns, but our govt. lets intoxication go rapid in our country. Now 3 young children will never know life. Our prayers go out to the amish family and they hold the fond memories of their children forever.

    8. Steve B

      Sad for all involved

      This tragedy is hard to imagine. Except we see and hear of similar incidents so frequently. I agree the Amish’s buggies are vulnerable. But asking them to find an alternate route is akin to asking all pedestrians, bicyclists, and every other mode of transportation, other than automobiles, to stay off public right-of-ways. Most of these “accidents” are in rural communities, well known to the automobile drivers, and are likely to have the presence of an Amish buggy or bicycle. I’m not sure what it would require to help solve this problem. But since so much of our society seems to hold money in such high esteem, maybe the lose of a goodly portion of that accumulated wealth would be place to a start. Along with a quick and extended loss of driving privileges.

    9. Walter Boomsma

      I would like...

      I would like to make this story required reading for people who post extreme negativity regarding the Amish and their buggies. If it hadn’t been a buggy, it might have been pedestrians or a group of young kids on bicycles. Others have noted the same, certainly.

      We cam rightfully expect forgiveness on the part of the Amish in this tragedy. I will freely admit, I find that very difficult in situations like this… because I want to wonder if we can forgive ourselves.

      In situations like this, we all bear some responsibility. Why? Because we are probably not doing enough. As a society, we could start insisting on consequences and developing an understanding that we are all responsible for the decisions we make. We have developed a culture of blame that suggests no one is responsible for themselves, they are the victims of… an endless list of possibilities. Or we could insist on… stronger consequences for drunk driving, more education regarding the impact of driving after drinking, developing an understanding that rights do include responsibility… People scream when their rights are threatened but you rarely hear people asking for more responsibility. I think there’s a pretty long list of things we could do and maybe should feel guilty that we haven’t.

      I have said many times, we could learn a lot from the Amish.

      1. Steve B

        Well Said

        Something we should think about. But I’m afraid it’s like you’ve implied. It’s much easier and somehow, excepted, to blame others for our faults, rather than address and attempt to correct our shortcomings.