Last week brought the tragic news of a 4-year-old girl killed crossing the road while walking between events on an Amish wedding day. Amish Kitchen columnist Lovina Eicher has roots in the Adams County, Indiana Amish settlement where this happened, and the family involved are relatives on her husband’s side.

In her latest column, Lovina gives more details on the incident. Little Barbara Graber was walking with older sisters at the time:

Foremost on my mind today is my husband Joe’s cousin Carolyn and Jonas Jr. and family. Their 4-year-old daughter Barbara was laid to rest yesterday. Such a tragedy — a life so young was taken, but God makes no mistakes. That is the only comfort sometimes, knowing he needed another angel.

Little Barbara and several other little girls crossed the highway going from the wedding reception to the wedding church across the road. These little girls were safely across walking behind their big sisters. They decided they wanted to go back to the reception instead and turned to go back across the highway before the older sisters saw them. The last one across was Barbara and she was hit by a passing vehicle.

Oh, the pain of seeing your child lifeless. Our hearts go out to Barbara’s family and to the 82-year-old man who was driving the vehicle. As with son-in-law Mose’s accident there are so many “what ifs.” Only God knows why, and it was his timing for their death. Our sympathy to the family.

Sister Verena, sister Emma and Jacob, daughter Susan and children, and Joe and I traveled the two hours to attend the visitation and viewing for Barbara. It is a comfort to have family and friends show their support at a time of loss of a dear loved one.

A heartbreaking incident for all those involved. Lovina has said what needs to be said here. It appears the driver was at no fault in this incident; at least I have heard nothing suggesting that.

The only thing I might note here is that especially with young Amish children, where the awareness of danger is not as ingrained as with older ones, I can see this sort of thing happening on the road.

It sounds like the little girls simply decided to cross back to the other side, without informing their older sisters walking ahead of them. When there are little ones involved – and young Amish children do walk along the roadside in communities all across America – you have a greater chance of this sort of thing happening.

So it may be wise to slow down even more than you might otherwise, and give a wider berth, when possible. And I don’t mention this to suggest the vehicle driver is at fault – he may very well have been driving as safely as possible, and absent any other information we ought assume so.

Just as something to consider when passing groups of Amish people, and children especially. So for what it’s worth, consider this post, on an incident no one wished ever happened, a sort of Amish safety PSA.



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