The following is an accident report from the Minnesota State Patrol. Another tragic crash involving a horse and buggy has resulted in the death of a young man. Please watch for buggies on the road.
A horse and buggy traveling westbound on Highway 210 near 211th Avenue was rear ended by a tractor-trailer truck. The driver of the horse and buggy, a young man from Staples, MN, was ejected onto the roadway and transported by air with fatal injuries. The driver of the semitrailer, a Mack 600 tractor pulling a trailer, was not injured. Todd County and Morrison County officials assisted the Minnesota State Patrol at the scene of the crash.
The rear-end collision happened at about 7:00 a.m., November 30, 2017, in Bartlett County, MN. Highway 210 is straight and flat for miles before and after the 211th Avenue intersection.
September 2017 Fatal Horse-and-Buggy Fatality in Minnesota
In September, a horse and buggy were traveling on Minnesota 92 in Clearwater County. The driver of a Ford pickup truck hit the buggy from behind. A passenger in the buggy, a young woman, was fatally injured and died at the hospital. The driver of the pickup was charged with criminal vehicular homicide because of suspected drunk driving. According to news reports, officers found him a distance from the crash site with bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.
Need for Additional Crash Prevention Measures
These fatal crashes, just months apart, highlight the need for additional crash prevention measures to protect occupants of horse-drawn buggies. An assessment should be made to determine where horse-and-buggy road signs are needed. The young man who was tragically killed yesterday was from Staples, where there is an Amish community. The people in this community need every possible protection available to make sure they can safely travel on nearby roads.
In Fillmore County in the southern part of the state, there is a designated Amish Buggy Byway on a section of Highway 52. Signs show a buggy and include the words Amish Byway. This kind of added protection should be implemented wherever there is an Amish community.
This being said, it is up to every driver, particularly the drivers of big rigs, to watch for these vehicles while driving on any road in the state.