Horse-and-buggy crashes are not exactly common in the United States. In
areas with high Amish populations, however, horse-and-buggy accidents
occur more frequently. Still, the three separate accidents on Sunday night
are a cause for concern. Two women were killed in the first accident,
with serious injuries resulting from two of the three crashes.
Just before 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night, an accident involving a horse-and-buggy
and a pickup truck left two dead near Indiana 37 and Notestine Road. 18-year-old
Rebecca Graber of Grabill and 16-year-old Michelle Graber of Fort Wayne
died at the scene of the accident due to blunt force trauma caused by
the accident. Two men were also taken to the hospital, suffering critical
injuries. The driver of the pickup truck fled the scene, and the license
plates on the truck turned up as registered to a different vehicle. Fort
Wayne and New Haven police are searching for the driver and requesting
any information the public may have.
Shortly after the first accident, a second horse-and-buggy was involved
in a crash just a mile to the east on Notestine Road. Emergency responders
were called to the scene, but fortunately, the occupants of that horse-and-buggy
suffered only minor injuries. A third crash took place around 10:30 p.m.
on Doty Road, with one person taken to the hospital in serious condition.
Indiana Home to Large Amish Population
There are over 300,000 Amish in North America. It’s a growing population
Amish Studies, a website developed by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies
at Elizabethtown College. According to the most recent updates to their
Amish population statistics, the yearly population increase for the last
year was almost 3%.
Despite the large land mass of North America, the Amish population is largely
centered in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Together, these three states
house 2/3 of the entire Amish population of the continent. Interestingly,
Indiana ranks third of the three states when looking simply at the size
of the Amish populations in each; however, when looking at the Amish population
as a percentage of the total number of people, Indiana is number one.
A majority of Indiana’s Amish population lives in northeast Indiana
in the region surrounding Elkhart and Fort Wayne. The location of these
three horse-and-buggy accidents is the heart of Indiana Amish country.
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana are all interested in addressing roadway
safety for Amish residents who drive horse-and-buggies, but it’s
a complicated task. Many of the possible solutions are viewed as infringing
upon the Amish way of life. It’s a delicate subject that requires
careful collaboration and consideration of alternatives.
Wagner Reese, we hope everyone will be careful and watch for our Amish fellow residents
on the roadways. Horse-and-buggy accidents often rely on the care and
patience of motor vehicle drivers, but this should be a simple task in
most cases. If you or someone you know is injured in a horse-and-buggy
crash, you can feel comfortable calling us for legal help. We have decades
of experience serving vehicular accident victims throughout Indiana, and
we will approach your case with care and respect. Call us today to get
started with a FREE consultation: (888) 204-8440.