There have been six vehicle accidents involving Amish buggies in Lawrence County this year alone.
“It’s just a hazard, we all need to be aware,” Lt. Scott Durham with the Lawrenceburg Police Department told News 2.
The latest accident, Wednesday night, left four hospitalized, one in critical condition and two horses killed after being hit by an SUV on Highway 43.
“This is the second time the family has had to go through that,” says Durham, who told News 2 the same family was hit just a few months ago about two miles away on the same highway.
Police said distracted driving seems to be a leading cause of many of the crashes that mostly happen on Highway 43.
They said while some buggies are marked with reflective tape, the dark buggies can be especially hard to see at night.
Police want to remind drivers that the horse drawn buggies have the same rights as a motor vehicle.
“Being a county that does have a large Amish population it is imperative that we put out the word that people need to be more aware of the Amish traffic on the road. They need to be aware that the Amish will ride their buggies, different types of buggies, large, small. And some will even just ride their horses. You will find them even walking on the roads when you get up to the North end of the county, or the kids will walk to school everyday. They need to be aware that not everybody is in a vehicle, not everybody is traveling 55 mph and you can get up on them before you know it,” Durham explained.
He also believes they are seeing more crashes involving buggies as the Amish have started traveling further South.
“It’s becoming more and more frequent as they are venturing out more to seek work. A lot of them are carpenters and farming and people will hire them to do work on their properties.”
Durham is among many that believe the highway needs to have extended shoulders for the buggies to travel on, much like they do in the Northern part of the county in Ethridge.
“Here we don’t have much of a shoulder where they actually have to use the lane to travel,” Detective Ray Chavez told News 2.
Chavez said Wednesday night’s crash is still being investigated. No charges have been filed against the driver at this time.