At least three children died and six other people suffered critical injuries after a pickup truck driver smashed into an Amish horse-drawn buggy early on October 29 in central Michigan.
The deadly buggy crash happened at 8:34 AM in Sheridan, Michigan, which is located 45 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.
Michigan State Police stated that the pickup was going east when it rear-ended the buggy and essentially destroyed it. Nine people were inside the carriage when the crash happened.
The state police said that the three children who died were a seven-year-old girl, a nine-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy. Six other occupants of the buggy were taken to local hospitals and were listed in critical condition.
The horse did survive the crash and was not seriously injured. The driver of the pickup truck stayed at the scene and cooperated with authorities.
The states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio among others have substantial populations of Amish people, who eschew most modern conveniences, including motor vehicles. Amish buggies rely on horses and rudimentary wheels, so they tend to move at only 10-15 MPH on roads while cars and trucks may be traveling at 55-65 MPH.
Our Virginia personal injury attorneys have seen many deadly accidents where a car or truck driver rear-ended the Amish buggy after coming up behind them too fast. Typically, car drivers do not realize how slow buggies are traveling until it is to late to prevent an accident.
In many cases, the accident is the fault of the car driver who is not driving with sufficient care to be watching for slower moving traffic. Unfortunately, car accidents involving Amish buggies tend to have very serious and fatal injuries, given that the Amish are poorly protected in their carriages. These vehicles also do not have airbags or seatbelts.
Our Virginia personal injury lawyers wish to stress to car drivers that it is very important that they are closely paying attention to their driving in areas where slow moving traffic such as Amish buggies are on the highways. Generally, Amish buggies have reflective signs and brake lights on the rear, so you should be able to easily see them if you are paying attention. If you hit a buggy and injure or kill someone, it is possible that you could face criminal prosecution.
Also, you could be sued in civil court for causing serious injury or death. Wrongful death lawsuits involve large settlements and verdicts, so be sure to take care when driving in the area of Amish buggies.