Amish Buggy Sought In Hit And Run

Well, here’s a story you don’t read every day:

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. — State police are searching for an unlikely suspect in a western Pennsylvania hit-and-run accident: the driver of an Amish buggy.

Troopers from the Mercer barracks say the buggy twice hit a passenger vehicle at a crossroads on Route 158 in Wilmington Township, about 6 p.m. Sunday.

The buggy then left the scene and its driver has yet to be identified.

Police say the victim is a woman who owns a Honda CRV, a crossover vehicle that was struck on its left side.

No word on whether either the driver or the horse were intoxicated.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Franklin says:

    What is a little unclear to me is what actually hit the Honda? Normally a buggy goes forward, right? With a horse in front, right? So did the horse run into the SUV twice?

    BTW, drunk “driving” is not uncommon among the Amish, and yes they can and do get tickets for it.

  2. ernieyeball says:

    @Franklin:..they can and do get tickets for it.

    In Illinois no one needs a drivers license to operate a horse and buggy on the public roads. I do not know if Amish have gotten tickets for DUI but even if they get 3 moving violations in 12 months there would be no operators license to revoke.
    In Illinois no one needs any kind of license to operate farm implements on the public roads. Farm tractors for instance. (Farm implements can not be operated on Interstates in Illinois.) There are no age requirements to drive tractors or other farm equipment. Nor do farm implements have to be registered and display license plates. The result is that you can put a ten year old kid on a farm tractor and send him off to grandma’s house by himself. Many Amish also use their tractors to pull all kinds of trailers, some rigged to carry passengers, all over the place.
    For a fun drive take a spin on Illinois State Rte. 4 from Ava to Campbell Hill to Willisville some weekday. It is a very narrow, curvy and hilly route heavily traveled by cars, school buses, semis, coal haulers, farm tractors pulling trailers and horse and buggys in about a 10 mile stretch.
    I used to run it almost every day in a Telephone Company van. Oh yeah, LOOK OUT FOR THE DEER TOO!

  3. Neil Hudelson says:


    BTW, drunk “driving” is not uncommon among the Amish, and yes they can and do get tickets for it.

    Especially during Rumspringa. I grew up deep in Amish country, and remember spending nights “drag racing” at stoplights. On my way home I would see two buggies side by side at intersections, waiting to race as well. If you stopped and talked to them, there was always alcohol involved.

    Also, drugs. Usually just pot, but sometimes harder stuff.

    In short–people are people, whom make the same stupid mistakes and do the same stupid drugs.

  4. Matt says:

    @Franklin: LEft side I’m guessing she was sitting at a stop sign with the buggy driver taking the right turn too wide causing some part of the buggy that sticks out to smack the car.

  5. grumpy realist says:

    @ernieyeball: There’s that interstate cutting down from I-80 towards Pittsburgh. Don’t take it if you’re squeamish about blood and roadkill.

    (Deer are one reason why I approve of hunting. I just disapprove of dumb hunters who have no idea what they are doing, e.g. are shooting in my backyard at anything that moves. There’s a reason why those of us in Upstate NY consider NYC people to be idiots.)

  6. Matt says:

    @grumpy realist: Real hunters hate those people just as passionately..

    I’ve known a few people who were killed by a deer. My highschool counselor was killed by a deer after he hit it. The deer went through the windshield and then trampled the counselor to death..

  7. ernieyeball says:

    @grumpy realist: Upstate NY??? I was born in Rochester and lived in Irondequoit and West Webster till our family relocated to the midwest in 1961. Spent several summers at the Massawepie Boy Scout camp in the Adirondack’s near Tupper Lake.
    It’s been about 17 years since I’ve been back that way. What I remember most was that winter lasted from September to about May 15th.
    Don’t hunt myself. Matt’s story of deer through the windshield killing drivers is all too common where I live now. The deer live in my yard. I’m glad they have not jumped through my window yet.

  8. bill says:

    @ernieyeball: i grew up in upstate too, great place to be from. deer are out of control now, not just up there. i almost bought it 2 yrs ago when a car clipped a deer and it swung around into my lane (i was on 2 wheels). i aimed for it’s lower midsection as it seemed the safest place to ride over in that nano second i had- shocker for me was it jut jumped up and ran off, apparently unscathed.

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @bill: This is why I am definitely NOT a Bambi-lover. Bring back the wolves!

    (We regularly had problems with the deer coming down out of the hills and eating everything in sight. Including all the pine needles. Grr. AND jumping through the fences (not over). AND turning themselves into shishkabobs courtesy of vehicles.)

    It’s not the deer you see on the road that’s the problem; it’s the one right after him about to crash through your window….

    Deer are idiots.

  10. grumpy realist says:

    @ernieyeball: Grew up in Ithaca. Am now in Chicago. Which means I get to compare snowfalls with my friends at home.

    Craziest thing about the Midwest is that I constantly forget that rain == floods. Very rarely worried about floods in Ithaca–it took a huge amount of rain to present a problem. Here in Chicago? 3 inches of rain produces standing water everywhere!

  11. Matt says:

    @grumpy realist: Chicago has like no real drainage system. I lived south of Chicago most of my life and my small town had a better setup then Chicago…

  12. ernieyeball says:

    @grumpy realist: Just looked at the map. I know my dad took us all, my mom and brother and sister and me, camping at Buttermilk Falls State Park. Had to be in the 50s. Also remember camping at Watkins Glen S.P. and Taughannock Falls S.P. I know we had a 56 Plymouth so I was probably at least 9 or 10 years old. I was born in 48, my brother in 53 and my sister in 55. We slept in our Sears and Roebuck canvas tent every night and cooked a few meals at the camp site. I’m sure we went into Ithaca to eat a few meals. Damned if I can remember where.
    It was just too long ago…

  13. ernieyeball says:

    @grumpy realist: …lived in Homewood 4 years. Two years of HS (H-F Class of ’66) and two years of Jr. College in Chicago Heights.
    After commuting from the burbs to work downtown for 17 years my Dad and Mom moved into Chicago and lived there for 20 yrs after retirement.
    From 1980 to 2001 I always had a couch to sleep on when I wanted to go see the Cubs.

  14. Grewgills says:

    What goes clip clop, clip clop, bang bang, clip clop, clip clop?

    Amish drive-by

  15. Matt says:

    That elicited some chuckles from me.

  16. Jeremy says:

    @grumpy realist: Holy cow, there’s an Upstate-a-thon going on here. Former Rome NY native myself.

  17. bill says:

    @Jeremy: yeah, looks like we all bailed!

  18. ernieyeball says:

    @bill: Bailed?

    My Dad moved our family to the midwest when I was 13. For my younger siblings and me it was a forced relocation.