Amish face traffic perils on busy roads
May 14, 1999
ROCKVILLE, Indiana (CNN) -- The Amish people don't own motor vehicles, and the sight of an Amish family traveling in a horse-drawn buggy is familiar and quaint to anyone who has visited an Amish community.
But a buggy accident in one Amish community points to the dangers of traveling along busy, modern roads.
In Parke County, Indiana, an Amish family was thrown off their buggy Thursday when a 17,000-pound Mack truck crashed into the rear of it on U.S. 36 about 12 miles east of Rockville.
Six children and their parents were injured, although the youngest child, an 8-month-old infant, escaped injury when his mother cradled him as she was hurled to the road.
Two of the baby's older siblings were briefly pinned under the rear axle of the truck, one suffering multiple leg fractures, the other lacerations. The children's father was being X-rayed for back pain, and his wife suffered cuts and abrasions.
Amish are permitted to ride in vehicles driven by others. and some local governments are offering the Amish ways to lessen their dependency on using their horse-drawn buggies on busy roadways.
In Lower Oxford, Pennsylvania, county officials have been offering bus rides for children walking to school out of concern that one could be struck in busy traffic.
In Medina County, Ohio, a bus service provides a way for members of a 250-family Amish community to easily travel to stores or government offices when they need to.
The state of Ohio, where there have been at least 14 deaths and 809 injuries in over 1,000 buggy accidents since 1990, has also begun building special lanes for buggies in some areas.
About 150,000 Amish people live in 22 states and Canada.
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