A 2005 Toyota Tundra truck collided with a horse-drawn buggy on Virginia’s Route 45 yesterday. It killed a mother of eight and a horse in the process.
The driver of the Toyota Tundra initially fled the scene, police said, only to return a little while later.
Horse-Drawn Buggy Crash Sends Nine to Hospital
Barbie Esh, 38, of Farmville, Virginia, died in the collision. Her husband and eight children, who are between 9 months to 16 years old, went by ambulance to nearby hospitals for injuries sustained in the accident, some of them serious.
Esh’s husband is reportedly undergoing treatment for life-threatening injuries at UVA Medical Center. The horse had to be euthanized.
Virginia state troopers told WWBT that the buggy was displaying a “Slow Moving Vehicle” triangle placard, as required by law, and had functioning headlights and taillights.
Amish Can Legally Travel Virginia Highways
Police said charges are pending against the driver of the truck, a 60-year-old Farmville resident. It is legal for Amish buggies to travel on Virginia highways. And as Amish communities expand, the horse-drawn buggy is becoming a frequent sight throughout Buckingham, Cumberland, Charlotte and Halifax counties.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to this family and their Amish community, which is suffering yet another tragic loss due to a fatal traffic crash,” 1st Sgt. Eric King of Virginia State Police Area 19, which covers Buckingham and Cumberland counties, said in a statement. “Local residents in the Cumberland and Buckingham county region are reminded to be on the lookout for Amish horse-drawn buggies traveling on our highways. Our winding rural roads have blind curves, so we must all comply with posted speed limits and share the road safely and responsibly.”
Another buggy got into an accident just last week in Richmond County. The two people in the buggy suffered serious injuries.
Amish buggies travel at average speeds of five to eight miles per hour. According to Ohio Department of Transportation statistics, most traffic deaths involving horse-drawn buggies – 65 percent – take place in rural areas.