State Trooper Saves Amish Toddler In Runaway Buggy

A little Amish girl is safe thanks to the quick response of a Pennsylvania state trooper. Via WTAE:

MARIENVILLE, Pa. — A state police officer jumped into action to save a toddler in a runaway buggy.

A 3-year-old Amish girl was alone in a buggy in Marienville, Forest County when the horse was spooked.

The horse took off at full gallop and the buggy almost rolled over.

The trooper was able to stop the horse and save the little girl.

There are no additional details to this very sparse story at this source.

Another source (The Daily Mail) gives the name of the trooper as Sergeant Lee Bunyak, an 18-year member of the force. He was also helped by Pennsylvania DOT employee Steve Cochran. Here’s a photo of Sgt. Bunyak with the girl in his arms:

And with the runaway buggy after she was safely removed. I believe these images are from a dashcam video, which explains the quality:

Since it is so lightly reported, we’re left with a lot of questions here. For instance, we don’t know how the trooper was alerted to the incident (did he happen to be in the vicinity?).

We don’t know how long it took, and how far the horse traveled, before the buggy was stopped.

And we don’t know in what manner he was able to stop the horse. I might guess by using his vehicle in some way to impede its gallop, or perhaps he followed it until it naturally tired, making it easier to halt.

Horse malfunctions

In a coincidence, on Friday’s buggy inspection post, I linked to several instances of runaway Amish buggies in the past, noting that “horse malfunction” seems to more often be an issue than mechanical failure of the buggy itself.

And here on Monday we have another such story. That’s just how things works sometimes. This apparently happened in late September, but the news only emerged over this past weekend.

This state trooper is a hero for this family, having potentially saved the little girl’s life. They’ll have a story to tell in that family for years to come.

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    4 Comments

    1. Geo

      horse malfunction

      Much as we love horses we’re always cautious around them. Their size, power. and emotional nature demand respect. Let’s hope we get more facts about how the officer controlled this situation.

    2. Schultzz Schultzkopf

      Thank You

      May God bless you and keep you safe and many thanks for your knowledge, skills and duty in saving a young life. Aren’t there laws which keep toddlers from being left alone in a vehicle of conveyance? Are there not wheel brakes on Amish buggies? Shouldn’t Amish parents be a little more careful when bringing children to a store?

    3. Melanie

      Wonderful Officer

      The Officer did a Wonderful job.Thank-You for taking action.Glad the child is o.k. And to whom left the young girl alone,I hope this is a lesson learned.

    4. Bert

      reply

      the amish buggies do have brakes at least some of them do depends on the community i guess