Lancaster County is home to many Amish people, and many of them travel by horse and buggy. While this adds local color to scenic rides through this part of Pennsylvania, it can also prove to be challenging on the roadways. On a recent Saturday evening at about 7:30 p.m., a horse and buggy occupied by three young people was struck by a pickup truck and resulted in a fatality.
Both vehicles were headed east when the tragedy occurred. Apparently, the man driving the pickup was attempting to overtake the buggy when he suddenly applied his brakes. The resulting loss of traction caused the car to swerve, with its front end striking the rear portion of the buggy. The three occupants of the buggy — ages 20, 18 and 16 — were ejected, with the broken buggy coming to a rest on the eastbound shoulder of the roadway.
All three accident victims were rushed to the hospital, one by air transport. The driver of the pickup was not hurt. Sadly, the 16-year-old, who was not the one airlifted, did not survive. The conditions and identities of the 18-year-old driver and the 20-year-old passenger were not reported initially.
Drivers are required to operate their motor vehicles in accordance with prevailing conditions. That typically means slowing down in bad weather, but it also means exercising caution concerning slower moving vehicles. Here it appears that the pickup driver sought to pass and then thought better of it and, in his rush to apply the brakes, lost control of his truck. The resulting fatality and injuries may constitute grounds for wrongful death and personal injury claims in the Pennsylvania civil justice system.