By Autumn Ziemba, Fox 8 News Reporter
ASHLAND COUNTY, Ohio — A toddler was life-flighted to MetroHealth Medical Center Wednesday after her family’s Amish buggy was struck by a car.
Calls flooded Ashland County’s 911 center late Wednesday afternoon, just after the accident happened along State Route 545.
The sheriff’s department told Fox 8 News the car had just cleared a small hill when it hit the buggy from behind. It then veered across the center line and struck an SUV head-on, causing it to flip with two people inside.
Captain Carl Richert with the Ashland County sheriff’s department said in most cases, speed is a factor, although this crash remains under investigation.
“We investigate a lot of accidents involving the Amish and normally, it’s not (their) fault,” Richert explained.
Skid marks crossing the center line on State Route 545 remained Thursday, just feet beyond the hill where, at 50 miles per hour, cars appear suddenly, even in daylight.
Some residents feel that something more needs to be done when it comes to buggies and cars sharing the road.
“I think they need to get (the buggies) off to the side of the road,” said lifelong Ashland resident Leslie Acker.
Acker has worked in auto repair for years and said that Ashland has seen its fair share of buggy accidents.
“People traveling fast and (the buggies are) not lit up like they’re supposed to be. You can’t see them and there ain’t no side of the road for them,” Acker explained. “You pop over a hill going 50 and there’s a car coming at you, what do you do?”
Richert said the department has ruled out alcohol and texting in connection with the accident. The driver of the car has not been charged.
The toddler was released from MetroHealth Medical Center on Thursday, and the two passengers in the SUV were also treated and released from an area hospital.
The damaged buggy was built to accommodate a wheelchair, which means the owner is now left without a form of transportation.