There’s a reason for the sign


I’d actually planned to post this photo today anyway.

As I drove to an appointment this morning I came upon a slowdown on Highway 39, the main thoroughfare through Holmes County.  Turns out it was caused by a head-on car-buggy collision.  The remnants were still in view by the roadside.

As I arrived at my 9 am meeting at the home of an Amish business owner, I found that he had just returned just a few minutes previous.  Turns out he’s also an EMT, and was on the scene.

Of the three occupants of the buggy, the parents are apparently okay, but their 17-year-old daughter might not be.

There’s a reason for the sign.  It’s so easy to get distracted and not see a little pony cart on the side of the road, or a group of kids walking back from school, just tucked away out of sight over the ridge.

Holmes is hilly and that makes it dangerous.  Especially for the little walkers.  But even in plain daylight, on a completely flat stretch of road, and with a full-size lane for Amish buggies, this stuff happens.

The EMT was very matter-of-fact about the accident–was it because of his EMT training?  Or because he is Amish?  Probably a bit of both.

If I was to apply the term ‘stoic’ to the collective Amish, I would use it to describe their approach to death and accidents.  It’s all a part of a plan.  We can be taken from this earth at anytime.

Maybe that will be the case with this girl.  The classic Amish response would be to accept it as something beyond our control.  Getting angry about it or questioning make no sense.  Though many close to a death still do those things.

I don’t know who she is, but I still hope she makes it.

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    1. Dave Carrig

      As I’m sure you know – they have these signs all over Lancaster County as well. I am amazed every time I drive down Rte 340 at how fast folks will drive – on that heavily populated w/ horse-and-buggie road. The speed limit is 45 yet it is not uncommon to see folks driving over 60. I’m even more amazed that most of the culprits are locals.

    2. Amish Country tourists drive too slow, locals too fast

      Locals in Amish areas seemed to be the craziest drivers–in Ohio as well. So Dave I think we see it the same way.

      Tourists usually go the other direction–too slow–which can also cause problems. I saw one stop–literally stop with traffic going by– in the middle of one of the major byways, in order to shoot a photo of an approaching buggy. That sort of stuff caused a major accident in Holmes County in the 90’s, and regrettably that wasn’t the only time. I guess your tourist time will be calming down pretty soon (relatively speaking of course)?

    3. Pingback: Amish buggy hazards | Amish America
    4. Sangelia


      seen this one several times while I was up in northern Minnesota.