Hit-and-Run Seriously Injures Amish Adult & 2 Babies

Images: Erie News Now

From the AP:

SPARTA, Pa. (AP) — A hit-and-run crash involving an SUV and a horse-drawn Amish buggy left two adults and two young children in the buggy seriously injured.

Pennsylvania state police say the accident in Sparta occurred shortly before 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

The SUV struck the buggy from behind and then fled the scene.

Authorities say the SUV was later located, but further details were not disclosed.

Four people in the buggy — a 24-year-old man, a 23-year-old woman, a year-old boy and a newborn — were all being treated at hospitals for undisclosed injuries.

I read the fact that they have found the vehicle but no word on the driver as meaning that the driver is still at large. A follow-up story with greater detail (linked below) notes that the buggy driver was actually not injured enough to warrant medical attention. The babies were life-flighted to hospital and the woman went to hospital as well.

Also, Sparta refers to a township and not a town. This happened in Crawford County, which happens to be the same county where the Amish home we looked at Friday is located (though this appears to be people from a different settlement). Locals are urging road safety in the wake of this latest crash:

This is one of the many crashes involving horse-drawn carriages that have happened already this year in places such as Altoona, Meadville, and now Sparta Township.

Residents of Spartansburg say their biggest advice to drivers is to slow down when they see a horse-drawn carriage and be especially careful at dusk and dawn, when the sun is the brightest.

One Titusville resident visiting Spartansburg, Kellie Price-Brenner said that she thinks police need to patrol the roads during busy times of the day, when the Amish are driving to and from work.

Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Several weeks ago in another part of Pennsylvania, a 10-month-old Amish girl passed away following injuries sustained when the buggy she was in was rear-ended while traveling uphill.

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    1. Cyndi Gardner

      Missouri wreck?

      I drive for my amish neighbors in Tennessee. We were just told the was a wreck near Alton (Spickard), Missouri over the weekend. Does anyone have any knowledge of this and id so could you provide details as these ladies have relatives there. Thanks

      1. Have not seen any news reports on that in the feed but if I do I’ll pass it along. Maybe someone has non-reported info.

    2. Michelle

      Safety car vs buggy

      First and foremost both car and buggy operators need to take steps to decrease accidents. Rear flashing battery operated lights at all times day and nite, some type of safety restraint for all passengers in the buggies man woman and children. No holding of children of any age. Cars need to slow down on hills turns etc. and in a perfect world a lane for buggies would be great. Since buggy lanes are not an option, encourage buggies to stay right and avoid blind areas of roads if at all possible . A car buggy collision usually results in a car with minor damage and buggy occupants critically injured and loss of horses life.

      1. Buggy seat belts not an obvious yes

        Some good points; main quibble is over seat belts – I’m not sure that they would function the same way in a relatively flimsy buggy as they do in a car: https://amishamerica.com/should-buggies-have-seat-belts/

        Maybe so, but I have never seen anything strongly supporting it being better strapped into a buggy rather than (as bad as it sounds) thrown from it – especially when buggies are sometimes absolutely crushed and destroyed.

        Here’s an example where the Amishman was thrown from his obliterated buggy and walked away. Have a look at the photo; I think it’s safe to say the reason this guy lived is because he was ejected: https://amishamerica.com/pei-amish-buggy-annihilated-driver-amazingly-uninjured/

        So I’m not saying conclusively buggy seat belts are a bad idea, just that I think it deserves closer consideration. It may have to do with the force of the impact – I would suppose they are more helpful at lower-speed impacts and less so at higher-speed ones.


        Why should the Amish take all the precautions

        I find your post ridiculous drivers who share the road not just with the Amish but bicycles, motorcycles, and walkers. slow down don’t text or drink when you drive. This will stop a lot of accidents

    3. Pay Attention

      We “Englischers” think we own the roads because we drive powerful vehicles. The Amish have just the same amount of rights while driving their “vehicles” on the same roads! Slow down and pay attention. It breaks my heart to see so many of these wonderful God Fearing people see their families destroyed simply because of someone not paying attention while driving. My prayers go out to this family and the other families who have been involved in buggy crashes. #sharetheroad

    4. Geo

      Wishful thinking

      These car Vs. buggy wrecks are just sickening. “slow down when they see a horse-drawn carriage”. Yeah right. The operative words are obviously “when” and “see”. No sane motor vehicle driver wants to hit a buggy or anything else and if they see them in time, they will avoid colliding. Fast moving motor vehicle traffic is the rule and the reality yet Amish ideology insists on mixing slow buggies into fast traffic without maximizing their visibility. Motor vehicle drivers could be more responsible, more alert, drive slower, blah blah blah but that is wishful thinking. People drive how they drive. Must it also be wishful thinking that the Amish take advantage of easily available means to increase their visibility? It’s wishful thinking that they will make buggies more visible unless the law requires it. Another example of cowardly lawmakers fearful of controversy.

    5. Franci Galvis

      Prayers for this young family!

      Advice for driving in Amish country: When you come to the crest of a hill, slow down! There could be a buggy immediately in front of you going down the other side of the hill, that you were not expecting.
      So dangerous!

    6. Leslie Harris

      Hit-and-Run Seriously Injures Amish Adult & 2 Babies

      “Residents of Spartansburg say their biggest advice to drivers is to slow down when they see a horse-drawn carriage and be especially careful at dusk and dawn, when the sun is the brightest.”

      I’m not sure this is correct. I was under the impression that the sun was the Dimmest at dusk and dawn, when the sun is lowest on the horizon.

      1. Good point. I don’t know when it is technically dimmest, but I think they may have meant when glare is most an issue due to the sun’s position.

    7. Pat Monti

      Hit-and-Run Seriously Injures Amish Adult & 2 Babies

      Hopefully the Amish individuals will be well. What an ordeal!

      Also, hopefully they’ll locate the individual that did this; and he/she will be punished. It’s difficult for me to understand how anyone could leave the scene, but I realize many do it.

      If everyone would only be more careful and respectful of others… In our area (central, Illinois) there have been many accidents involving buggies throughout the years. Some Amish have taken it more seriously than others and added additional safety equipment. Unfortunately some haven’t taken any additional measures and simply view whatever happens as God’s will as they do with everything. Personally I’ll never understand that philosophy as God did give us free will. Perhaps that subject matter may make for a good discussion another time.

      We’ve had a few instances where Amish have pulled out in front of us when they really haven’t had proper time to do so. As a result, we’ve had to slow down or even stop very quickly to avoid an accident. During those occasions we were only going the speed limit or even less than the limit. Mutual care and respect really does go a long way.

    8. Geo

      Lets all be Amish

      The problem is 65 miles per hour and 5 miles per hour in the same space. What could possibly go wrong? Something has to give and it may as well be us English. They can’t go faster or make themselves more visible cause it’s their religion and we can’t ask them to risk going to heck. Us English can slow down to their speed cause 65 miles per hour is not our religion and we won’t be gosh darned for changing our ways. I’m gettin a horse and buggy. Anybody got a horse and rig for sale? I don’t want any biters though. I mean those big teeth! Ouch. On a positive note, I won’t have to stay awake on my 25 mile commute once my horse learns the way. Which will be a good thing because it will be 5 hours each way.