A tragic accident involving a car and an Amish buggy claimed the lives of two people and a horse in southern Minnesota on Monday morning. Two other people, who were siblings of the deceased, were injured and taken to the hospital.
The Crash Details
According to the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office, the fatal crash occurred shortly before 8:30 a.m. on County Road 1 near Sumner Center, which is southeast of the Rochester area. A car driven by a 24-year-old woman from Rochester rear-ended the buggy, which was carrying four Amish children aged 7 to 14. The impact caused the buggy to overturn and the horse to be thrown into the ditch.
The sheriff’s office said that two of the children, a 7-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, were pronounced dead at the scene, along with the horse. The other two children, a 9-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl, were airlifted to Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys Campus in Rochester with unknown injuries. The driver of the car was not injured and cooperated with the investigation.
The Amish Community
The crash occurred in an area where the Amish community is prevalent and often uses horse-drawn buggies as a mode of transportation. The county has several signs warning drivers of the presence of buggies on the road and urging them to slow down and be cautious.
However, some locals said that many out-of-towners travel on that road and may not be aware of the dangers or the Amish culture. Julie Broadwater, a Spring Valley resident, told KAAL-TV that the Amish are their neighbors and they need to watch out for them. “They’re on the road, they are coming to do business with us. We just have to watch out, drive slowly,” she said.
Mike Dougherty, a director of public engagement and communications at the state’s Department of Transportation, also told KAAL-TV that the signs have a purpose and drivers should pay attention to them. “The signs are there. Like all of our signs, they have a purpose. They are there to alert you that it is a slower moving, it is a different type of vehicle,” he said.
The Investigation and Condolences
The sheriff’s office said that the crash is still under investigation and no charges have been filed yet. They also said that they are working with the Amish community to provide support and assistance.
The Fillmore County Sheriff John DeGeorge expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the victims in a statement. “This is a tragedy that affects not only the families involved, but our entire community. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by this crash,” he said.
The Minnesota State Patrol, the Spring Valley Ambulance, the Spring Valley Fire Department, the Wykoff Fire Department, the Mayo Clinic Ambulance, and the Mayo Clinic Air Ambulance assisted at the scene.