More Amish deaths by DUI

It’s been a terrible two weeks for Amish on the road.

The Friday before last, a semi crashed into a carriage in Christian County, Kentucky, killing an Amish toddler.  The driver was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence.

The next day a van driver, apparently also inebriated, hit a horsecart in northern Indiana, killing a 12-year-old Amish boy.

Now, five Amish have been killed in upstate New York.   A driver attempted to pass a tractor and struck a vanload of Amish.  He has been charged with driving while intoxicated, and homicide.  The County Sheriff called the wreck “the worst I’ve ever seen”.

40,000 people die as a result of road accidents each year.  The ones involving DUI are the hardest to forgive.   Though I suspect the Amish here will.

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    1. Kevin Lindsey

      That is truly horrific and completely unneccesary. What a terrible waste… My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

    2. ann

      Yes that is so sad. Drivers dont watch out for the Amish buggies and also motorcyclists
      as much as they should. Seems their always in such a hurry to get somewhere and alot of times the only place they get to fast is the morgue and more often than enough they take innocent people with them. Please will everyone keep your eyes open for the Amish buggies on the roads. God bless.

      1. Lee Ann

        People are in to much of a rush these days. Going to close to the horse will scare it and make the buggy turn over. Very sad for these families.

        We can all learn from the Amish about forgiveness. Amish do not hold grudges.

    3. Alice Mary

      Highway Carnage

      What an awful sight, and terrible loss. All involved (emergency workers, too, who have to see it up close) have my prayers.

      Alce Mary

    4. Kathy Adcock

      Comments on more Amish deaths

      This is aways so sad to hear,my heart goes out to all involved.We had a nephew killed last year by a drunk driver.

      1. sherry

        Kathy sorry for your loss my sister’s daughter in law loss her mother by a drunk driver 3 years ago she was coming back from church watching her grandchildren in a christmas play she was almost home too.

    5. sherry

      This is so sad and it makes me upset i see how this happens so much, i just got back from Holmes County Ohio and the Local people would go flying by the buggies and there would be a hill and if i couldn’t see what was on the other side of the hill being in a truck i know that they couldn’t, some places the buggys can only move over so far there was one in front of me and he try to move over but this wheels were on the side of the road but there was gravel and it was scarey it look like he was going to tip.I wish if you in a hurry leave a bit earlier give yourself extra time to get where you are going. and please don’t drink and drive do your drinking at home and then go to bed so you don’t hurt others. amish has the right to be on the roads just like we do. will keep these families in my prayers.

    6. MaryAnn Pepe


      I am sitting in a small motel right now in the heart of Lancaster,PA and am horried at the traffic on one of the main roads,(Lincoln Hwy. Right outside my window) that speeds where Amish buggies ride. Yesterday, an Amish boy no more than 11 was trying to cross this road inundated with huge trucks speeding by.
      There is not enough consideration for the Amish and tourists on this road.I just can’t believe it!

      1. sherry


        MaryAnn I know what you are saying i just got back from ohio and seeing same thing if they can’t slow up they need to go and live some where else, they shouldn’t be driving like this in the first place where there is so many people, let em go to a race track if they need to speed.

        1. MaryAnn Pepe


          I have to walk my dog along this road too!

    7. sherry

      I think they should show this video to the ones that like to drink and drive make them watch it over and over maybe next time before they decide to get in a car to drive they can see what they are doing to other lives, I am sorry if i sound so awful but something needs to be done all these innocent lives are gone and now the families has to live without their love ones.

    8. Traffic Deaths

      I live in a province where most vehicular accidents seem to involve alcohol.Either states need to patrol better or they need to set up designated horse traffic lanes. I’m not sure that this wouldn’t end up being another problem, as people in cars use the slower traffic lanes to pass on the right, or to speed. We also see a lot of accident deaths when people hit moose on the road. One family who had lost a father to a vehicle/moose collision (in fog, in the early hours) petitioned the state to allow more moose hunting to reduce the moose population. My father’s answer to that was, “The easiest way to avoid hitting a moose on the road is to slow down!” It also sounds as if bars need to close earlier, or open later, and really, bar owners need to enforce the rules about serving intoxicated people.

      1. Alice Mary

        Special lanes

        Magdalena, your idea about having special “horse traffic” lanes sounds reasonable to me…if we can have designated “bicycle routes” around the country, why not (in what we KNOW is Amish country) have “horse & buggy” lanes? It wouldn’t eliminate the problem, but people would be more aware that they’re likely to encounter a slow-moving, horse-drawn vehicle, so they should slow down.

        Of course, the DUI problem will, unfortunately, remain. We need to teach more responsibility in schools, families, rather than a “pass the buck” attitude. Like charity, it starts at home.

        Alice Mary

    9. lanore

      So sad to read these story, will keep everyone in my prayers.

    10. Debbie Welsh

      What a shame. My thoughts and prayers go out to the poor victims and their families.

      You are absolutely right Mary Ann, those huge trucks ( which is the majority of the traffic ) should not be allowed to use Rt. 30 right in the heart of the Amish and tourist section of Lancaster, and especially on that stretch from Gap to Paradise where it narrows down to only one lane. They should be made to use the Turnpike, or if need be, Rt. 322 and then a branch off of that if they need to get back on Rt. 30 for Lancaster city or beyond. And of course, as you can see, it didn’t help that they built all of the outlet malls, hotels, restaurants, and department stores all within the same little area on the main drag, which just adds even more to the terrible congestion.

      What would be ideal, if it were possible, is to make a seperate buggy lane over to the side on all of the roads, and not just in Lancaster but wherever there are Amish. That way the Amish would feel safer and alot less stressed, and we in vehicles wouldn’t have to always slow way down or be constantly on the lookout for them. But naturally, that would involve digging into someone’s property, whether private, county, or state owned, and of course the big question – who would pay for it?

      The cause of the accidents here, though, is drunk drivers which just makes it all the worse. I know we can’t control what someone may drink in the privacy of their own home, but bars and taverns need to step up and take precautionary measures when they see customers starting to get inebriated. And also the police need to be more vigilant and on the roads more, too.

      1. Alice Mary

        Debbie, I see we posted simultaneously, and had similar thoughts on this topic. I agree wholeheartedly! It’s too bad that more thought wasn’t given to zoning those outlet malls/etc. It sure sounds like a “bypass” of the area is called for, for safety’s sake!

        Alice Mary

      2. MaryAnn Pepe


        I thought of the same thing about buggy lanes but even if people where to promote some kind of legislation, the Amish probably whould just not get involved and just feel it’s God’s will that they have to abide by this. We just have to say a prayer every time we see a family in the middle of busy traffic.

    11. I so hate that some people drink and drive. A relative of my brother in law ended up in a wheelchair because of this and I also know a guy who drove drunk and crashed and ended up killing his girlfriend. He started using drugs too and not just alcohol after this. He sees no way of being forgiven and to forgive himself, unfortunately. When I think of this and all other things caused by drink driving I cannot see why there are still people doing this. Why do they keep putting their heads into the sand believing that this will not happen to me. It might not but if it does it will wreck your and other people’s lives! Just don’t drink and drive!

    12. Marilyn in New York

      More Deaths by DUI

      I live about 40 miles from there the accident I happened. A Old Order Mennonite friend of mine was down at that accident yesterday with his Fire Department as he is a Fireman. They asked him to go in one of the ambulances when they took one of the Amish to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. The Amish man was speaking Deutch and the medic couldn’t understand so my friend went along. He is also an ambulance medic. When he got home he still hadn’t talk to his Old Order Mennonite about the accident. He told her he just can’t do it, yet. It must have really been horrible to be there.

    13. If Only We Would Learn from the Amish

      Alcohol and speed are a lethal combination. These accidents should never have happened.

      But right now I’m thinking just about speed. Speed kills. People drive WAY too fast because they have so many places to go and so much to do and too little time and their business is more important than anyone else’s and the world will stop turning if they don’t get there.

      The Amish are as busy as any of us , but a horse goes only so fast. My guess is that many an Amish person sometimes wishes the horse would speed up. “Come on. Come on. Move! I have a lot to get done today,” But then maybe he or she gets calmed by the rhythm of the ride. “We’ll get there when we get there. It’ll get done when it gets done.” I wish the rest of us would slow down and enjoy the ride. Is it worth the risk to life and limb just to be the first one to get to the red light?

    14. Al in Ky.

      Such a tragic accident. It brought to mind the truck/van accident
      near Munfordville, Ky., last year when eleven people died, including members of the Esh family & friends who were on their
      way to a wedding in Iowa. It also brought to mind the AA post a few
      weeks ago when the topic was Amish use/non-use of the slow moving
      vehicle sign. If we are going to require all Amish to use the orange SMV sign, then somehow our law enforcement needs to more
      strictly deal with the widespread problem of DUI.

    15. Marilyn in New York

      I just got the morning Democrate and Chronicle Newspaper out of Rochester, New york. Should anyone wish to give to help the Amish people that were in that accident in New York State, The Jasper Volunteer Corps., p. o. Box 14, Jasper, New York 14855 is accepting donations. Please put a note in stating that you wish your donation to go to Amish relief. The money will be used for the food for funnerals and the Amish medical expenses.

    16. glen k. wilson

      dui fatality equals homicide

      prayers and sympathy are nice but won’t solve the dui problem. due diligance and being held responsible would be a good start.
      the three drivers responsible should be arested like any other murder/homicide suspect. held with a very high bail and processed for trial. if convicted the sentence should be the maximum. if there are more than one fatality, sentences should be CONESECUTIVE.
      that’s how you slow down dui incidents.
      i live in wisconsin, we drink more beer per capita than any where else in the nation. a person can be arested 5 times for dui and still not get jail time. i agree the amish will forgive, but drunk drivers should be held responsible.

      1. How to stop drunk drivers?

        Well Glen you won’t hear me arguing against harsh punishment in these situations. Especially when someone is very drunk and/or driving aggressively, or has a record. It seems like focusing on stopping it before it gets to the point of someone getting killed is even more important though.

        I think harsh sentences for drunk drivers that kill others will prevent them from doing it again, simply by removing them from society. But I am skeptical that harsher sentences in the case of death would actually prevent other people (ie those that haven’t killed anyone yet) from making this selfish decision.

        Things like consecutive sentences or 20 years prison vs. 10 years are too abstract to influence people’s decisions when they’re drunk and about to get behind the wheel. In other words I doubt the guy is going to hold off driving knowing that if he kills two people his sentences are going to be consecutive rather than concurrent. People just don’t think that way when they are making these types of decisions.

        I have no idea what hoops DUI people have to go through to get their licenses back, but whatever it is, maybe it should be twice as hard. Like you allude to in Wisconsin, I imagine a lot of DUI offenders don’t just do it the one time. So I think it’s even more important to be harsher on one-time offenders.

    17. By the way, I read that of the 5 Amish killed, 3 were women and 2 were men. In one of the original reports, I believe it was “5 Amish farmers”, so at first I thought all men. But it’s not surprising that women were along on this type of trip. Wives are very important on the farm.

      1. Paul

        Too close to home.

        I have recently became aquainted with an Amish family in Sauk County, Wisconsin. It turns out one of the women that perished in the accident was a cousin of the family. I understand she left behind many children. Heavy heart…

    18. micah

      it is very sad, but one of the hardships of their chosen lifestyle is an increased risk of accidents, even without drunk drivers. an amishman in michigan was killed this week, run over by his own haywagon. i think that their confidence in their eternal hope is what gets them through it.

      turns out that i know a cousin of the indiana boy who was killed, the community has already forgiven the drunk driver – he was even at the funeral!

    19. Don Curtis

      Belle Center Christmas Tragedy

      My son, Mark, called me this morning to give me some very sad news. He was in his horse and buggy on the way to the Christmas program at the west school, Richland Christian School. He was stopped by an Amish boy who was alerting all the Amish passing by that the school program had been cancelled for a very sad reason. It seems that one of the two teachers at the east school, Rushcreek Christian School, while on her way home after school was struck from behind by a hit-and-run driver. She was pronounced dead on the scene. The neighbors could hear the impact inside their homes and came out to investigate. They could see a pick-up truck driving away from the scene. Martha was found in the ditch where she had been thrown from the impact. The road and ditches were strewn with the Christmas presents her students had given her this, the last day of School before Christmas Break. I never met her or her family but I feel very badly for them, her students, and the community. This is a sad blow for them all. As of yet, the driver who hit her is unknown. But, he/she had to have realized they had struck someone. Mark told me she was wearing a bright yellow highly reflective vest as well as having a bright red flashing strobe light on her bicycle. How very sad. Please pray for the Dan N. Miller family.

      1. Don Curtis

        Belle Center Christmas Tragedy

        I forgot to mention that the Amish school teacher who was killed, her sister is also a teacher but at the west school in the Belle Center, Oh Amish community.

      2. Don just read your account here catching up after the holidays. Sad and tragic for both sides of this incident. On a similar note I hope folks who have to be on the road tonight will take care.

    20. Mario Alltop

      Lancaster and Bremen Ohio

      We have a larger Amish population in our area, and I am by no means saying its okay to drive drunk; but, they set themselves up (at least here) for trouble. Their buggies and horses are all black and they are on the roads after dark with out the first reflector or light and people sober or drunk just don’t see them in the slow moving buggies. They don’t pay taxes so they shouldn’t be on the roads.

      1. Dirk

        Sounds like you suffer from night blindness, you should not be on the road after dark.
        FYI the Amish do pay taxes, everybody pays taxes, there are only two guarantees in life, death and taxes. When you get a bit older, you will realize this.
        Whoever told you that the Amish do not pay taxes, you can tell them from me, they’re an idiot.