ASHLAND COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – Authorities in Ashland County are trying to identify a driver who crashed into an Amish buggy on Wednesday night and then fled the scene.
The accident is just the latest in a series of buggy accidents, prompting the launch of a new driver safety campaign.
Investigators say Wednesday’s crash happened around 8 p.m. when a buggy traveling south on US Route 42 was struck by a vehicle turning onto 42 from the Route 250 Bypass.
An Amish man was ejected from the buggy and suffered a head injury. His eight-year-old daughter was also injured and pleaded with passersby to get help.
The two victims were taken by life squad to the UH Samaritan Medical Center in Ashland. Their horse was treated at the scene.
The Ashland County Sheriff’s Office is now trying to identify the hit and run driver.
“They could be intoxicated or driving under suspension,” said Lt. Donald Sims. “Sometimes we find that people are just scared. You know, they were involved in an accident and they don’t know what to do and sometimes it happens that they just take off and run.”
Investigators believe the hit and run vehicle is an older model red Chevy Blazer or S-10 pickup truck. They say the vehicle would have heavy front end damage and possibly damage to the tires.
Wednesday’s accident is the 14th crash involving Amish buggies in Ashland County so far this year.
In response, the Sheriff’s Office, the State Highway Patrol and ODOT have launched the campaign to remind drivers to be alert when sharing the road with the Amish.
“We’re trying to get the attention of the distracted driver. Pay attention to what you’re doing, get your cell phones out of your hands,” said Chief Deputy David Blake. “We’ve got to do something to slow people down, be aware of what’s going on and watch their driving, save lives.”