ASHLAND COUNTY, Ohio – An Ashland County grand jury will soon decide if a 48-year-old man should be indicted on charges in connection with a buggy crash that sent seven members of an Amish family to the hospital.
Patrick A. Muscaro, 47, of West Salem, is facing a felony charge of aggravated vehicular assault.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge Wednesday in Ashland County Common Pleas Court. Bond was set at $100,000.
“We are in the process of getting the evidence on this case,” said Attorney Brett Murner, who represents Muscaro.
The crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. Sunday on U.S. Route 224 near County Road 581 in Sullivan Township in Ashland County.
Muscaro reportedly failed to maintain an assured clear distance ahead and hit the rear of the buggy.
All seven buggy occupants were ejected from the buggy with various injuries. Muscaro was not hurt.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol says the seven members of the Amish family injured in the crash are expected to be alright.
Two adults and five children were taken to the hospital.
The horse was also injured and died early Monday.
“We are keeping the family in our thoughts and prayers,” said Ashland County Prosecutor Chris Tunnell. “Going forward my office will review additional charges as the prognosis of each victim and the full width and breadth of the facts underlying this tragic incident become clear. We felt that a single felony count at this time would secure a sufficient bond for this defendant to protect the public in the short term. “
The father and two of the children involved in the crash were flown to Akron Children's Hospital with serious injuries. The mother and remaining children were taken to a hospital in Ashland for their injuries.
The crash remains under investigation.