Repeat Drunk Driver Hits Amish Buggy; 7 Injured

Two adults and five children were ejected from their buggy when it was rear-ended in Ashland County, Ohio on Sunday.

Three of the passengers, the father and two of the children, have serious injuries and were lifeflighted elsewhere, while the mother and remaining children were taken for local treatment. The children range from toddler age to seven years old. Cleveland’s News 5 reports on the crash and the driver, who has a history:

Thankfully now all the victims are in stable condition and expected to recover.

Being aware of the guidelines for driving safely around buggies does little good when someone is impaired. The driver of the motor vehicle has apparently been charged with DUI on at least 7 occasions. The obvious question is why was this person even on the road.

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    1. Debbie Halcomb

      why was he on the road

      The repeat offenders drive with or without a license so it is hard to control them without confining them to jail. Our jails are over flowing so they can’t send them to jail. What is the solution? So sad that innocent people pay for the drunk drivers crimes. Praying the family has a full recovery.

      1. I would guess he had to be driving without a license, because how could you ever be judged worthy of one with that kind of DUI history.

    2. Lynn Maniscalco

      buggy and DUI

      A tragedy for sure and a common problem without an immediate solution. Although jail is often used as punishment when more creative solutions could be used, it sometimes necesary to protect the rest of us. There was no mention of the fate of the horse–just wondering.

      1. As for prison…people doing this are essentially taking a deadly weapon out on the road with little regard for others’ lives. One function of prison is protecting the public from harmdoers. Alcoholism may be insurmountable for some but deciding to get behind the wheel is 100% in that individual’s hands.

        I didn’t see mention of the horse in this report…if I see something elsewhere I’ll let you know here.

    3. Al in Ky

      I clicked the link to the Cleveland News 5 report and the last line of the report stated, “The horse pulling the buggy was severely injured and had to be put down.”

      I was wondering if there are any statistics for the US as a whole (or for just an individual state) about how many buggy accidents involving motor
      vehicles were caused by drunk drivers of the motor vehicles. Also, if there are statistics comparing the rate of accidents involving buggies and motor vehicles with drunk drivers, versus accidents involving motor vehicles and motor vehicles with drunk drivers.

      1. Thanks Al, I missed that. I don’t know about those stats. It seems like alcohol is not infrequently involved with these buggy accidents though I wonder if there would be any factor to make it more or less likely that DUI drivers would hit buggies, I can’t think of anything now. Interesting question thought.

    4. C. J. Stringer

      Costly Crash

      SO SAD… Just wondering if the car driver is charged, will he have to pay for all of the costs that are incurred? Such as, the cost of a horse, and a new buggy, as well as all of the hospital bills?
      I recently visited with an Amish lady, and she said the cost of a well trained buggy horse can run into thousands of dollars.
      Thankful no one was killed.
      Please keep us updated.
      Thank you

      1. Dale Ann Harsh

        Costly Crash

        If this man was irresponsible enough to drive while drunk he was irresponsible enough to drive without insurance, which he’s been cited for in the past. IF he has insurance the minimum may cover damage to health and property, so a claim could be made for the cost of the health care of the family, the buggy and the animal, even lost income while they recover. Unfortunately the family injured may not have anyone to make that claim for them as that’s usually done by the injured parties insurance company lawyer….and it’s a sure bet the insurance company’s attorney will be trying to ‘discount’ the amount the company is liable for in anyway they can.
        In this case, as all DUI cases, it would seem the public prosecutor should step in to act on behalf of the injured family as part of their responsibility to protect and defend the public they are sworn to serve.

    5. Driver charged with aggravated vehicular assault

      The driver has been charged with aggravated vehicular assault, a felony. From the report:

      ‘Lange set two bonds in the case: a personal recognizance bond and a $100,000 bond, which he said can be posted with a cash posting, surety bond or real estate posting.

      Lange told Muscaro if he posts bond, he can’t leave Ohio while the case is pending, and he can’t use or possess any alcohol or drugs. He’s also subject to random drug and alcohol testing at his own expense, and he can’t drive any vehicles. He’ll be on GPS monitoring, with a curfew requiring him to be in his residence between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

      The Ashland post of the Ohio Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the case. Tunnell also will review the case further and plans to present it to an Ashland County grand jury “when appropriate,” according to the press release. A grand jury review could result in additional charges.’