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2 people were killed and 8 children injured after Amish family’s buggy was rear-ended


By Sahar Akbarzai and Mirna Alsharif, CNN

A couple was killed and their eight children were injured after the family’s Amish horse-drawn buggy was rear-ended Sunday night in central Virginia, State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller told CNN in a statement.

The driver of a Toyota Tundra allegedly rear-ended the family buggy in Cumberland County and left the scene but came back a short time later, the statement said.

Barbie Esh, 38, died at the scene. Her husband, John Z. Esh, 39, died at a nearby hospital Monday.

The two were in the buggy with their eight children, who range from 9 months to 16 years old, Geller said.

The children were transported to nearby hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to serious. Two of them had been treated and released by Wednesday while the other six remained hospitalized, the statement added.

A verified GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover hospital and funeral expenses for the family.

The horse-drawn buggy was equipped with the required “slow moving vehicle” triangle placard and working headlights and taillights, the police statement added.

Following the crash, a nearby fire station posted an alert warning residents of heavy buggy traffic Thursday to Cumberland County as a result of the funeral.

“Amish families from as far as Pennsylvania and New York will be attending the funeral and assisting the family involved,” the Toga Volunteer Fire Department posted on Facebook. “Cumberland officials are expecting over 400 participants.”

The post warned drivers to stay alert for Amish horse buggies, adding, “If you’re behind a buggy DON’T pass until it’s safe to do so with a clear view around them.”

“Preferably a passing zone. Don’t hog or tailgate, rev your engine or blow your horns when passing,” the post said. “Please be cautious and mindful when traveling.”

The driver of the Toyota was not injured in the crash and charges are still pending, Geller’s statement said.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, it added.

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