When in Amish Country…Drive Safely

Editor’s Note: This post comes to us from Glenda Lehman Ervin, Lehman’s VP of Marketing and daughter of founder Jay Lehman. Glenda had this harrowing experience last Thursday afternoon.

I just had an amazing experience.  I was driving from our store in Kidron this afternoon, back to my office in Dalton, when I came upon an accident that had occurred only seconds before.  There was a buggy, twisted in the muddy ditch, and a horse, injured and bleeding, on its back on the road.  There was a young girl who was trying to crawl out of the buggy.  Apparently a car had hit the buggy, frightening the horse, which bolted into the ditch, tipping the buggy.  The girl, perhaps about 20, told me her name was Katie.

After realizing a kind neighbor was already dialing 911, I knelt beside Katie, and held her head in my hands, trying to shield her from the sun.  “My leg,” she said. “My leg.”  My uneducated guess is that she has a severely broken ankle, from tumbling out from and then under the buggy.  Her mother and sister, who were with her, appeared to be uninjured.

Providing as much comfort as I could (What would I want someone to say to me?) I told her help was on the way, to take deep breaths, and try to stay calm.  “It’s okay, Katie, it’s okay,” I murmured, keeping my head at an angle to block the sun from her eyes.

The scariest part was the horse, who was going crazy on his back, because he was still strapped into the broken and twisted harness, which was still attached to the buggy, askew in the ditch.  Another neighbor came to the rescue (I had no clue how to release the mangled harness) and released, then quickly uprighted, the horse.  I suspect the horse will be okay — he had a deep gash in his chest — but they were going to call the vet.  Oddly enough, this happened not far from Dad’s house, and they took the horse back to Dad’s barn to rest until the vet came.

Once the horse was gone, the scene calmed down considerably.  The paramedics arrived and I used a blanket to shield Katie from the sun and spectators as they did a quick medical exam.  It was clear she needed an x-ray of that leg, and her shoulder was painful, too.

After waiting until she was loaded in the ambulance (Godspeed Katie), I drove slowly back to my office.

Please, when driving in Amish Country, be very careful.  For Katie.

Glenda Ervin

About Glenda Ervin

Lehman’s Vice President of Marketing and daughter of founder Jay Lehman. She has filled her home with Lehman's products, and enjoys the challenge of using low tech in a high tech life. In addition to media relations and advertising for Lehman's, she speaks to groups about the history of Lehman's and the unique growth of the family owned and operated business.

16 thoughts on “When in Amish Country…Drive Safely

  1. I don’t live in Amish country, but I do live in the country. It’s not all that unusual to come around a corner and find a horse or cow – or deer – in the road. I get mad at anyone who doesn’t drive with this awareness in the country.

  2. My family visited Holmes county last week & it amazed me how rude the automobile drivers were to us. We drove at a cautious speed on the country roads, watching out for buggies. Automobiles would get on our bumper & drive like maniacs. So disrespectful.

  3. We have much wider shoulders here in Waterloo Region, Ontario than you have around Kidron, but it still amazes me how many drivers zoom past the buggies without slowing down or shifting over away from the shoulder. Every once in a while, a horse spooks for no reason – the resuts can be disastrous.

  4. I lived in Wayne co Ohio as a child, and I can remember the frequent buggy accidents on the highways. My husband and I visit Holmes Co every year now, and I am glad to see that the busier highways do have the extra lane for the slower moving traffic. Even still, we all must be more willing to slow down to save a life! I actually love the slower pace in Amish country, and am glad to drive slower–first, in order to keep everyone safe, but also to enjoy the beautiful country!

  5. Good advice. We have the same issues around here in Millersburg, PA. , but it is good advice anywhere there are pedestrians, bicycles, or any conveyance with souls on board.

  6. I live in a rural area. There is an elementary school on our road with Stop signs at both ends. These STOP signs are run/ignored daily. I called the Sheriffs Dept. A deputy responded and his words to me were “Well, really it’s JUST a country lane.” So if the LAW doesn’t give a rip ,why would everyday citizens?

  7. One of my favorite places to visit is Amish country and it makes my heart hurt to read stories like this. We’re visiting THEIR area and we must be aware of the surroundings at all times. I’m always amazed driving from Mt. Hope to Berlin how people fly over the hills with NO regard there could be a buggy on the other side. Please people — drive with care over there. :(

  8. How sad-we are in their community and must learn to abide by their rules. When we visit, we really watch out for the buggies and the families riding in them. God’s speed to the family involved.

  9. How sad. I’m so glad you could stay to help. How I wish there could be a special lane for buggies so they could be out of harm’s way. I too have seen drivers barreling along without caution and I fear for the often unseen buggy up ahead. Prayers for Katie.