Amish Buggy Accident Leaves Two Dead, One Injured

    December 1, 2013
    Pam Wright
    Comments are off for this post.

An Amish woman and her daughter are dead after a truck reportedly crashed into the buggy they were riding in around 4:20 p.m. Saturday.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, William Byler, 35, of New Wilmington, Pa., was operating a horse and buggy west on Pulaski Mercer Road, when a tractor truck driven by Matthew Coulter, 36, of Pulaski, Pa. reportedly hit the rear of the buggy, killing Byler’s wife and 11-year-old daughter.

Lawrence County emergency were at the scene of the accident around 5:30 p.m. Saturday on a Mercer County road, about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, where they pronounced the mother and daughter dead at the scene.

Lawrence County rescuers were called to assist.

Byler suffered serious injuries and was flown to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio.

According to the nursing supervisor at St. Elizabeth Health Center, Byler remains in critical condition.

The horse drawing the buggy was also killed in the accident.

The investigation continues. It is not known whether any charges will be filed.

Image via Wikimedia

  • Lou Gots

    This wasn’t a buggy accident. It was a truck accident, also a truck homicide by vehicle, two counts.

    • Jim

      Homocide? It was intentional?

  • lou kistner


    • Connie Lewis

      This is a tragic accident involving the driver of a truck who was in Amish territory and should know to watch out for the Amish and their horses and buggies. I hope this person, if he lives, is prosecuted for his crime.

  • K.L.W.

    Tghis is a very COMMON occurance. I have been driving for 22 years now and I LIVE IN A MAJOR AMISH COMMUNITY AREA. I think the laws are wrong, so side with the Amish buggies when they do cause many accidents.There are many rural, very dark and winding state highways and I will attest to the fact that the amish , many from numerous sects, do not EVER watch forn traffic. They pull out onto the highways and heavily traveled roads with no regard for oncoming cars….and any rational person would use lights ( thay are allowed battery powered lights and lanterns that make the black buggies visible, but 9 out of 10 do not use these, nor do they use highly visible reflective signs. Think about the man or woman , getting off work after working 12 hours in a factory, traveling home and doing the posted higway speed limit. Its very dark and the fog is thick in the low spots and valleys. Suddenly, out of nowhere-with no given warning- a buggy packed full of amish teenagers is dead smack ahead of you in the road and their buggy is simply light with a lantern holding a small white candle. they see you and proceed driving their buggy without even slightly merging into the berm..even if they did its too late. Your in an accident with this very poorly light horse drawn carriage wich is overpacked with Amish.You had 20 seconds to react as you crest the hill and there is nowhere to try to go with your car. You and the buggy are now in an accident, possibly a fatal one. Yes , its heart breaking when anyone passes away, but the driver of the car gets charged when they did all they could to obey the rules of the road. The amish do not care, they believe that one small candle is sufficient and there are no laws governing what they should need as a standard of light / identification nor do they licensing to be on the public roads ( just think – that poorly lit, almost invisible until you are 5 foot away in your vehicle, amish buggy is being driven on the states public roads by a 13 year old teenager ( the age amish no longer need schooling and are considered “men” in the community )Due to ignorant tourists, who only know things pertaining to the amish that make the amish look like saints and good, hard working simple folk and do not know REALLY what the amish are like in truth ( if I told the truth people would be highly stunned and shocked, maybe even repulsed ) The amish who are in tht very poorly visible buggy swerve and weave, pull out in front of automobiles, and blantly disregard any law that pertains to everyone else who has no other choice but to drive. they fell, and will tell you if you ask, that the rules of the roads do not pertain to them and they are exempt…WICH IS 100% UNTRUE !! Amish cause so many fatal accidents, not just their own but to innocent drivers/passengers of vehicles. I have family who are Fire/EMT and Officers of the Highway Patrol.Most vehicle/buggy accidents ARE CLEARLY caused by the Amish Buggy/Buggy Driver but Amish do not carry identification and do not have social securiy numbers ( no birth/marriage/death certificates either, by the way )and will rarly give their true name/address and will deny speaking the English language. I have never, EVER met an Amish who couldnt speak ENGLISH. They all do Speak and understand English but when it comes to them breaking and ignoring laws and they have no time to disappear before authorities arrive, suddenly they speak a language that no English or German speaking person can even understand, no less try to comprehend. its sad that as a motorist you can and usually are charged with being the cause of the accient because even in low speed accidents the buggys fall apart and no proof is left to show how the buggy was in no way visible to anyone on the road.They do not have insurance so as a driver if you happen to survive, your vehicle is destroyed/damaged and you have medicle bills that you must pay YOURSELF, your bills will not be paid by the uninsured/unlisenced Amish that caused you to do all you could to try avoid hitting a buggy full of people if you just happen to get lucky.Myself,along with MANY small towns full of drivers ( as the amish call us ” ENGLISH ” )get very emotional about this topic because we are the ones who obey all the laws,have laws written for our safety,take courses to obtain a lisence to legally drive a vehicle on public roads,buy identification plates for our vehicles,register our vehicles with the state and are in a country wide database so we can be identified,and pay TAXES to ensure the roadways are maintained for safe driving.The AMISH pay NO TAXES, have NO IDENTIFICATION of person or buggy, and DO NOT HAVE INSURANCE that is MANDATORY – according to STATE LAW – that all vehicles must have VALID INSURANCE/PLATES/OPERATOR with VALID DRIVERS LISENCE to be allowed to use any public roadway ! I got a bit off the DIRECT SPECIFIC TOPIC to EXPLAIN some very important points before people automaticly jump to the conclusion that a driver who is in a vehicle/buggy accident is always at fault when there is proof to be seen that in most vehicle/buggy accidents the BUGGY DRIVER IS USUALLY the GUILTY,AT-FALT PARTY.I know many will take offense to this that I have written because they only know the simple, peaceful, and religious lifestyle the AMISH want people, tourists, to believe about them. They run the biggest tourism scam that could ever be imagined.If I told you more truths about the life of Amish and their REAL customs you wouldnt want to waste your money among the Amish Tourism….its very close to a tale of Jeckle and Hyde…Everythibg and situation can be made beautiful on the surface its whats under the surface that is true and honest and will never be seen by anyone taking a tourist vacation to ” AMISH COUNTRY”

    • Ursula

      It sounds like you have some very valid points here. In my opinion, as long as they stay in their community, their own laws are fine, but as soon as they enter public roads, the law of the land should apply, including licensing, insurance, identification etc.
      And I agree that they should have GOOD lighting on their vehicles at night, so they can be seen easily.

    • CANDY

      I am sorry for all concerned in this tragic accident. I feel that the Amish community should be expected to be responsible on the road just like the rest of us. I know exactly where the accident took place and it’s probably no one’s fault or everyone’s fault. I can’t tell you the number of times (I travel back roads and live in the area) have been driving and SUDDENLY the buggy lights are turned on. Their eyesight is much better at dusk as they are used to very low light and like many English drivers think that if THEY can see everyone will see them. I am furious when suddenly this buggy appears out of the darkness or worse yet early morning fog! Of couse many English drivers are exactly the same and won’t use full headlights at dusk or even even parking lights. ANY CONVEYENCE on the roads needs to be brighty lit and easily, quickly seen. I think of several accidents involving big rigs that backed across the road and didn’t have lights on the trailer, leading to decapitation of people driving the vehicles that crash into their side. I appreciate all the running lights now used by most truck drivers and would like to see Amish drivers do likewise.

  • sue

    I also feel that the truck driver knew he was in Amish country and should have been more aware of his surroundings. I lived in Illinois close to an Amish community and we always were aware of these folks. If you ear end someone it is almost always your fault unless someone cuts in front of you and you cannot stop.

  • Fred

    I bet it was a “Swift Transportation” driver…

  • Ursula

    Wow, I left a response to K.L.W. up there, and gave him a thumb’s up… and wouldn’t you know, my response is gone, and my thumbs up is, too. I wonder who actually muzzles people here who disagree!

  • Ursula

    Oops, it’s back. Just a glitch, I guess. I wished you could edit/delete your posts.