CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Three siblings were killed and a fourth was critically injured when a vehicle struck a horse-drawn buggy Wednesday afternoon in central Michigan. The children were ages 6 to 13.
It’s the second motor vehicle-buggy crash this year to claim multiple lives in Michigan. Three young siblings died in a crash in June in Branch County.
In Wednesday’s crash, the four Amish siblings were in the buggy traveling home from school around 3:20 p.m. when a vehicle struck them from behind, northwest of Charlotte in Eaton County, Sheriff Tom Reich said.
An elderly man who was driving the motor vehicle was taken to a hospital for evaluation, the sheriff said.
“It’s a horrible, horrible tragedy,” Reich said. “My heart goes out to the family.”
In a news release, officials said sheriff’s detectives and the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Team are investigating. Victim advocates assisted the family, “and we will continue to provide our support and resources. We grieve with them,” the statement said.
The highway was closed for hours after the crash and reopened around 8 p.m.
The names of the children and the driver of the vehicle were not immediately released, and no other details were available.
Kevin Newton, who lives in the area where the crash occurred and drives for the Amish, said he was on his way home when he received a phone call about the crash.
“I bawled all the way home,” said Newton, who said he knew the three children killed in the crash. “They’ve got to do something, pass a law or something. They should have more signs out (alerting drivers about buggies).”
In June, three siblings died after a pickup struck an Amish buggy in Branch County’s Algansee Township, south of Coldwater.
In that crash, seven members of a family from Reading – parents and five children – were riding in the horse-drawn buggy when it was struck. The Angola man driving the truck was charged with driving while intoxicated causing death and possessing a firearm while intoxicated.
The driver, Tyler Frye, 21, was scheduled to be in Branch County District Court on Thursday for a preliminary examination after the proceeding was adjourned last month, according to WTVB, a Branch County radio station.
There have been other accidents this summer in which Amish buggy passengers were injured. In July, six children were injured in a vehicle-buggy crash in Mecosta County, and in August, four members of a family were injured after a buggy-vehicle crash near Hillsdale.
Contributing: Detroit Free Press. Follow reporter Ken Palmer on Twitter @KBPalm_lsj
The post 3 Amish children killed, another injured after vehicle crashes into buggy appeared first on USA Today.