Another Driver Who Shouldn’t Be Driving Hits Amish Children – On Same Minnesota Road

Remember the two Amish children who were killed by one of the twin sisters in Minnesota? It turns out here was another car-buggy crash – this one a hit-and-run – on the exact same road (Fillmore County Road 1). Like the identity-swapping Petersen sisters, the driver here has an extensive record, and simply shouldn’t be behind the wheel of any vehicle.

Country Road 1, Fillmore County, MN. Photo: WCCO

Here’s what happened via the MN Star-Tribune:

The motorist who hit an Amish buggy last week in southern Minnesota, fled the scene and left injured children behind has been identified as a 32-year-old woman with a troubling driving history.

The collision about 10 p.m. Friday on County Road 1 near Spring Valley injured six of the horse-drawn buggy’s nine occupants, two of them seriously, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Monday by the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office that asked a judge for permission to collect evidence from the driver’s car and her cellphone.

Brittany Nicole Edgar of Kasson, Minn., was soon pulled over 6 miles south of the crash scene by a sheriff’s deputy who saw a car with severe front-end damage, one headlight out and taillights not illuminated, the filing read.

Edgar told the deputy that she struck a deer while on her way back to Spring Valley, and the deputy allowed her to resume her travels, the affidavit continued.

Deputies later found her car at a home in Spring Valley. Edgar repeated that she hit a deer, “then changed her story and stated that she indeed hit an Amish buggy,” the filing noted.

Messages were left Wednesday with Edgar seeking a response to the court filing’s allegations. Charges have yet to be filed.

Why is Brittany Nicole Edgar still in possession of a driver’s license? The following is why – in addition to this latest chapter of irresponsible driving – Edgar should never legally sit behind the wheel of a car again:

Court records in Minnesota show that Edgar has two convictions for drug offenses, one each for drunken driving, a lane violation, disobeying a traffic control device and speeding, along with two for careless driving.

I can’t seem to figure out what it takes to lose driving privileges in this country. If anybody can explain, I’m all ears.

Careful on County Road 1

Are these the kind of drivers we find in Fillmore County, Minnesota? If I lived there, I’d be wary on the roads.

Though I say Fillmore County, since there have now been two recent high-profile accidents (in a community with a low Amish population), it’s probably not fair to pick on just that area. This is normal behavior in a lot of places. It’s simply garbage driving. I have experienced it, and probably, so have you.

For instance, I have too often had to dodge people weaving into my lane, in both directions. Who knows if they were impaired, looking at a phone, or something else. And I don’t even drive that often. Couple that with things like increasingly overpowered blinding headlights and over-dependence on tech, and it feels like driving is getting less and less safe. That’s my take anyway.

For its part, the county is trying to improve safety on Country Road 1:

County Road One is a newer road, carrying a high volume of traffic and speeders.

“The road, it’s in very good condition, so we have some speed issues out there and it’s probably the busiest traveled county road in our area,” Dornink said.

This follows another high-profile crash that claimed the lives of two young Amish girls last fall. This crash prompted Sheriff John DeGeorge to remind people to be mindful of whom they are sharing roads with.

Image: KTTC

“There’s also an Amish community that lives in that road and that uses that road as we know in buggies and that takes a whole another level of responsibility from drivers and motor vehicles to be aware,” DeGeorge reminded.

Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office said it is working with the county’s highway department to get more signage on the road and will work with the Amish community to improve safety. According to Dornink, the Amish community in the area is progressive. He reports the buggy involved had mirrors and flashing lights to warn drivers.

I hope the accident victims make a full recovery.

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    1. J.O.B.

      Nothing will change until punishment increases for drivers like this.
      This woman should never have been allowed to drive with a history like that.
      The car should be taken away.
      Significant fines and jail time should be mandatory.

      This garbage happens all the time because people know they can get away with just a slap on the wrist.

      The woman lied. She knew what she did and still only cared about herself. So pathetic. So improving signage in the area will accomplish little when people continue to behave this way.

      Get these drivers off the road!!! Take their cars away!!! And fine them until their bank accounts are empty!!! Sadly, that’s the only way to get some Of these people to stop doing what this woman did.

    2. Driving has become a bit too necessary

      I am surprised that someone is allowed to continue to drive with a record like that, though, other than for contempt of court or extreme cases of the driving equivalent of manslaughter*, I would not advocate prison. I hope everyone injured recovers and that justice is done.

      However, I do have a further specific observation on the problem. As someone genuinely unable to drive for medical reasons (significant visual impairment), I would comment that coping when you cannot drive in a modern day society which is set up in the assumption that everyone does drive, is extremely difficult.

      The problem ranges from inability to pick anything up from a shop, to the fact that medical services are desperately difficult to access (we – UK people – are supposed to have benefit-provided hospital transport, but woe betide anyone who actually needs to use it: contempt and shame will be poured on the unfortunate user by almost everyone involved, and providers repeatedly ignore accessibility needs despite being told again and again). People don’t advertise how long things like church services take, because, of course, it’s assumed everyone will be driving home. General services are often centralised by policy in towns and cities, too far away to reach other than by motorised vehicle, with unreliable and infrequent public transport in rural areas (one bus an hour if very lucky, last bus 5pm, reasonable chance bus won’t turn up at all or arrive too late to connect). And so on. It is said to be even harder not to be able to drive in America but I do not have any personal experience of that.

      Granted, medical incapacity is different from things people voluntarily choose to do. However, “Driving privileges,” is really a bit of a misnomer. If society is organised to make driving a necessity rather than a convenience, it does become a very severe thing to deny people.

      I once came across someone suggesting that losing your driving licence, and with it the opportunity to get any legitimate work, was a major element in a funnel into crime for poorer people in some places (I think the source I remember that comment from was writing on a complicated social injustice situation in one of the US cities, and in that case, people were apparently losing their licenses for reasons that had nothing to do with driving). Whether there is any link between this sort of observation and lenient laws/court decisions regarding driving offences in the US is not something I have any information on.

      I emphasise that I am not for a second suggesting that someone with the record described should be allowed to continue to drive, merely wishing to draw attention to another possible aspect of a complex issue.

      Of course, it is ironic to comment like this on a site about the Amish who mostly avoid driving. Perhaps someone should start a program to encourage the use of the horse and buggy among those who cannot safely drive cars! Seems unlikely that would really work, given the complexities of buggy-ing…

      *I think this might be an English thing, and I haven’t kept up with recent legal changes. Manslaughter is the term traditionally used in England causing death by doing something that the person should not have done (short of felony) but without direct intent to kill. So, for example, causing death by negligently not checking that the aeroplane is fit to fly. Driving offenses are usually handled under separate laws but it is reasonable to expect cross-check the two in any assessment of theory: causing death by dangerous driving is, morally, a form of causing death by negligence.