From the AP:

Four members of an Amish family died after their hired van was struck by a cement truck as they traveled home from a funeral in central Pennsylvania.

The York County coroner’s office said the fourth victim, Elizabeth Esh, 22, was pronounced dead Tuesday, a day after she delivered a stillborn boy.

Her relatives, brothers Emmanuel Esh, 73, and Melvin Esh, 66, were pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck Monday afternoon in rural southeastern York County.

State police said the victims were passengers in a van, operated by 49-year-old Connie Lally, that turned into the path of a concrete truck driven by John Ehrhart, 60. The truck then struck a third vehicle, a sedan.

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Tragic accidents involving Amish buggies make headlines all the time. But given their increasingly mobile jobs–not to mention kinship ties in distant communities–some Amish spend more time in cars than in carriages.

This of course isn’t the first fatal van accident involving Amish. Others come to mind. You might recall the DUI van accident which took five Amish lives in New York (and ended with twelve orphaned children being adopted by relatives).

Something similar to that happened in the 1980s in central Indiana. I remember another, during a summer I spent in northern Indiana. Amish construction workers died on their morning commute after being rear-ended by a semi.

Today’s Amish spend a lot of time in these 15-passenger people movers. They value a good, reliable driver–be it for daily work hauling, or for semi-regular trips to family and out-of-community events.

But even with the best hands on the wheel, no one gets an ironclad guarantee they’ll make it home. So just another reminder to drive safe folks. Or as my dad used to say, keep it between the ditches.

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