Two parents killed and eight children injured in Amish buggy crash

Charges are pending for driver of pick-up truck who rear-ended family’s horse-drawn buggy in central Virginia

Megan Sheets
Friday 22 October 2021 21:04
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Two parents were killed and their eight children injured after a car crashed into the rear of the Amish family’s horse-drawn buggy.

The crash occurred on Sunday night in Cumberland County, Virginia, when a Toyota Tundra allegedly rear-ended the buggy. The driver briefly left the scene but returned a short time later, police said.

The mother, 38-year-old Barbie Esh, was pronounced dead at the scene and her husband, John Z Esh, 39, died in hospital the following day.

The couple’s eight children, ranging in age from nine months to 16 years old, were each rushed to hospital with varying degrees of injury.

All eight of the children were treated and released from hospital by Wednesday evening, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up by Jonathan Stoltzfus, a coworker of Mr Esh.

Mr Stoltzfus said he did not have a full list of injuries suffered by the children but said they included broken legs and a broken pelvis.

The driver of the Toyota, who has not been named publicly, was not injured in the crash. Virginia, State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller told CNN charges against the driver are still pending and the investigation is ongoing.

Ms Geller added that the buggy had the required “Slow Moving Vehicle” sign, as well as functioning headlights and taillights.

A funeral was held for Mr and Ms Esh on Thursday, the Toga Volunteer Fire Department said in a Facebook post warning drivers to stay alert for heavy buggy traffic en route to Cumberland County.

"Amish families from as far as Pennsylvania and New York will be attending the funeral and assisting the family involved," the post read. "Cumberland officials are expecting over 400 participants."

"If you’re behind a buggy DON’T pass until it’s safe to do so with a clear view around them,” it added.

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