Irma Miller, age 11, and sister Wilma, age 7, lost their lives after their buggy was rear-ended on the morning of September 25th in Fillmore County, Minnesota. Questions soon arose over the alleged driver of the vehicle, which may have in fact been the woman’s twin sister.
News station KTTC visited with the Miller family, and spoke with the father of the girls, Menno, about how they are dealing with their loss. Menno does not appear facing the camera, but did agree for the interview to be recorded.
This is the news piece which aired on KTTC (3:41). Below that, you’ll find the longer two-part interview with Menno.
Menno’s wife is named Sarah, and they have six surviving children. Two of them were in the buggy at the time of the crash and were injured. “A lot of tears. I was told, tears are healing, and I believe that’s true,” says Menno. The other two children, Rose and Allen, are reported to be okay physically, having returned to school activities.
“Do we blame somebody?” Menno asks himself. “Yes and no. I mean, we struggle with that.” The Millers, it’s explained in the above video, aren’t focused so much on justice, but would like an apology – from whomever was behind the wheel. “That’d go a long ways,” says Menno. “Yes it would.”
Menno Miller Full Interview – Part One
In Part One of the interview, Menno Miller recalls the morning of the crash, and the last things he said to daughters Irma and Wilma. He also discusses the idea of acceptance and faith, and shares how he feels “humble” by the community response.
“Without friends, family and faith…it would be impossible.” Menno also shares he and his wife’s concern for his other children in the aftermath of loss and how they are dealing with that.
Menno Miller Full Interview – Part Two
In Part Two, Menno recalls the night before the crash. They also discuss the question of blame and questions about how it happened.
“We’re not gonna press charges,” Menno explains, saying they’ll leave that up to the state. “It would make it a little easier if they showed a little remorse, but at this point…they’re trying to keep their stuff covered up, the two gals.”
When asked if the sisters tried to contact them, Menno says no, but that his family tried to reach them. “My father-in-law tried to contact Sarah Petersen, but we couldn’t get through. Basically what we were gonna tell them is ‘hey, feel free to come out to the wake, the funeral, whatever. Let’s just visit. But yeah we couldn’t get through.”
Menno also repeats here an idea that he was asked about earlier: “When their time’s here, their time’s here.” In Part One he acknowledges how that idea can be difficult for many non-Amish to understand. It doesn’t remove the pain of loss, but maybe makes it easier. “It all comes down to accepting…the parting is just so tough.”