A couple died and their eight children were hospitalized after a driver slammed into the family’s Amish buggy, Virginia officials said.
Barbie Esh, 38, and John Esh, 39, were in the horse-drawn vehicle with their kids when a Toyota Tundra pickup truck rear-ended them on Sunday, the Virginia State Police said in a news release.
Barbie Esh died at the site of the crash in Cumberland County, roughly 60 miles southwest of Richmond. John Esh was flown to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, where he died from crash-related injuries the next day, according to officials.
Police said the couple’s eight “children, ranging in age from 9 months old to 16 years of age, were all transported to nearby hospitals for treatment.” The kids’ injuries were listed as serious to minor, and two of them have gone home from the hospital.
The horse also was hurt and survived, officials said.
As of Wednesday morning, Virginia State Police said an investigation into the crash was ongoing. The deadly wreck was reported at about 8 p.m. Sunday along State Route 45.
Officials said the Tundra was moving south when it hit the buggy from behind. The pickup truck driver — who wasn’t hurt — reportedly kept going but later came back to the crash scene.
“The buggy was equipped with the required ‘Slow Moving Vehicle’ triangle placard, as well as working headlights and taillights,” Virginia State Police said in the news release.
After the incident, officials shared condolences and urged drivers to be safe on the road.
“Local residents in the Cumberland and Buckingham county region are reminded to be on the look-out for Amish horse-drawn buggies traveling on our highways,” 1st Sgt. Eric King of the Virginia State Police said, according to The Farmville Herald. “Our winding rural roads have blind curves, so we must all comply with posted speed limits and share the road safely and responsibly.”
The Cumberland County crash was at least the second one this month involving a buggy that had lights and a placard, Virginia officials said.
Two people had serious injuries and a horse was euthanized after a Jeep hit a buggy on Oct. 13 in Richmond County, which lies along the Rappahanock River, according to police. The driver was charged in that case.
Charges are pending in the Cumberland County crash, officials said Wednesday.
The Amish are known for respecting traditions and live in settlements in parts of the United States. They sometimes avoid driving cars and instead use buggies as transportation.