Very sad news from northern Michigan. Via 9and10news.com:
Two children were killed and one other suffered serious injuries after an accident Monday morning involving a passenger vehicle and an Amish buggy, the Wexford County Sheriff’s Office said.
The sheriff’s office said they received a call at 8:15 a.m. about a crash at East 16 Road and North 39 Road. According to a preliminary investigation, a vehicle traveling east on East 16 struck an Amish buggy carrying three children as the buggy pulled into the intersection, heading south on North 39. A person who described themselves as a witness on Facebook said that the horse “bolted” into traffic.
All of the children were thrown from the buggy in the crash, and the sheriff’s office said a 11-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy suffered fatal injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.
This is the area of Manton in Wexford County. It appears there were three children in this buggy. I’d assume the oldest, the 11-year-old girl, was driving. A nine-year-old girl survived the crash and was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries. This is the Facebook post referenced above from a woman named Kyle-Courtney Harmon:
I was there I’m still shaking it’s been hours – the pony BOLTED across 42 in front of the driver.
This was a freak accident because of an animal.
I was with the girl that survived until Amish came, rubbing her head and talking to her.
I’m praying for her and the families I am also praying for the driver and his family and I hope you all will too.
This accident in Wexford County is one in which it appears the automobile driver was not at fault. Prayers for the nine-year-old girl, her family, and hope she pulls through.
UPDATE – March 22: There is no further word on the girl who survived the accident. There is however a news story about a local man named Edward Gilde who, following this tragic accident, wants to make travel for local Amish safer.
To that end, he is offering to provide a portion of his land for a buggy lane which would allow Amish to bypass a dangerous stretch of road. However, this offer would depend on the county pitching in as well. From 9and10news.com (video report at the link):
“Our plan is to provide alternatives for the Amish to be able to get into Manton and traverse our roads out here without incurring such a traffic hazard,” Gilde admits.
Gilde is offering to open up a trail that cuts through a portion of his property and would give the Amish a shortcut off of M-42 and into town.
However, Gilde says the trail would only work if the county changes a portion of 18 Road from seasonal and begins plowing the road in the winter.
“This way they would be able to get all the way into Manton the back way much safer,” Gilde states.
Mr. Gilde is communicating with both the Amish and the road commission on the matter. Bravo to him for taking the lead in trying to make the roads safer for his Amish neighbors.