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SUV Collides with Amish Buggy Killing 1, Injuring 3

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Tina Robinson3 years ago

An SUV collided with a horse-drawn buggy in northeastern Ohio on Sunday evening. One man was killed in the accident and three more people were taken to hospitals after sustaining minor injuries.

Details of the Buggy Crash

A report in the Columbus Dispatch says a Ford Explorer driven by a 42-year-old driver, whose identity has not been released, slammed into a buggy carrying an Amish family on Sunday around 9 p.m.

Joseph Byler, 28, died at a Cleveland hospital from injuries sustained in the crash. Three more victims, Byler’s two sisters and mother, were also taken to hospitals for treatment. The driver of the buggy and father of the victims, Eli Byler, refused treatment at the scene.

According to police reports, the Explorer struck the Byler’s buggy before continuing on State Route 168. Geauga County sheriff’s deputies took the driver into custody approximately a mile from the scene of the accident where the SUV became disabled. A breath test performed indicated the driver’s blood-alcohol limit was “slightly over the limit.” The driver has not been charged at this time.

The impact from the Explorer destroyed the buggy and let loose the horse, which was struck and killed by a second vehicle. The driver of the vehicle that hit the horse was also treated for minor injuries.

Buggy Accident Statistics

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) estimates that 120 buggy accidents occur in Ohio each year. In Ohio, more than 65% of all motor vehicle fatalities happen on rural roads. ODOT also provides the following safety tips for drivers in Amish communities:

  • The slow-moving vehicle sign, a red triangle with darker red borders, should be mounted on all farm machinery and animal-drawn vehicles.
  • Drivers should immediately slow down upon seeing the slow moving vehicle emblem and prepare to pass with caution.
  • Drivers should anticipate left-hand turns by buggies into fields.
  • Horse-drawn buggies travel on average between five and eight miles per hour, although speeds may be lower if the horse is fatigued.
  • Horses may spook and are unpredictable. Drivers should pass with caution, leaving plenty of space and only do so when legal and safe.


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