SUGARCREEK TWP., Ohio— Police say alcohol may have played a role in a crash involving an all-terrain vehicle that slammed into the back of a buggy carrying a family of eleven.
Ohio state troopers say just before 6:00 p.m. Sunday, the driver of an ATV was traveling on Elton Street near Smith Road in Sugarcreek Township in Stark County. Investigators say the ATV driver, Jeremy Venables, 34, of Brewster, slammed into the back of an Amish buggy.
"When the ATV struck the buggy, broke it into two separate pieces, the driver of the Amish buggy was pulled out of the buggy, instinctively holding onto the reins with the two horses that were pulling it and pulled him out of the buggy, and then soon after that, he let go and let the two horses run from the scene," explained Ohio State Trooper Matthew Mossor.
He said Joseph and Amanda Hershberger were traveling in the buggy with their nine children, who ranged in age from two to 13-years-old. Joseph got a cut on his head, the rest of the family was not injured. The ATV driver, who was thrown from the vehicle, was not as fortunate. He was seriously injured.
"Yes, we do believe that alcoholic drinks are a factor in the crash itself, the vehicle itself is equipped with seat belts, they were not in use, the driver of the ATV did not have a helmet on," said Mossor.
The State Highway Patrol said an ATV is not suitable to drive on public roadways. They also said the accident is a reminder for drivers to watch out for buggies and farm equipment in rural areas.
"Around curves and over hills, just expect them because they are here, they're active 365 days a year," said Mossor.
The accident remains under investigation.