Buggy Flips in Ky. Creek, Killing 4 Amish Children

Saturday, 26 Feb 2011 10:03 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — The flash flood warning went out via electronic channels the Amish typically eschew: TVs, radios and computers. About an hour after the National Weather Service alert, four children were swept away as their family tried to ford a rain-swollen creek in a horse-drawn buggy.

Whether the family was aware of the warning for their Kentucky county, they knew it was raining hard Thursday night. And when they reached the normally tiny creek, it was more like a fast-moving river.

Within moments, the covered buggy tipped, tossing the four children into the torrent.

Amid the darkness, searchers were summoned. By early Friday, rescuers had recovered the bodies of three of the children. They later found the fourth.

"We're trying to give the family some time by themselves right now to grieve," Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon said. "There's no doubt that this was just a terrible accident."

The night had begun when Emanuel Wagler had packed his wife and children into the buggy for the short trip to his brother's house. The buggy is a mode of transportation commonly used by Amish families like Wagler's.

Emanuel and his brother, Samuel, went to a community telephone inside a wooden shack not far from the brother's house to call their father in Missouri.

"That's the main reason they came out, to call my dad," explained Samuel Wagler, 37.

Later, the families ate supper. Samuel figured the tiny creek his brother had to cross had risen to around the black buggy's axles by Thursday evening.

Emanuel, his wife and seven children — one of them Samuel's 11-year-old daughter Elizabeth — were on their way back around 8:30 p.m.

Already, the severe thunderstorms that had swept over these rolling green farmlands had dumped 2 inches of rain on the countryside. More was coming, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning for the eastern Kentucky county, said meteorologist Rachel Trevino.

It's not clear if the family knew of the warning, issued just about an hour before the tragedy.

"It's very sad. Very, very sad," Trevino said.

The Amish live among non-Amish in this farming community near the Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois state lines. By Thursday evening, some 250 emergency workers were helping in the search.

They found the bodies of 5-month-old Rosemary, 5-year-old Sarahmae and 8-year-old Samuel.

Despite hopes that Elizabeth may have been clinging to a tree branch, her body was found late Friday morning.

"She was just an all-around good girl," said uncle Levi Yoder, 30, his voice cracking.

Neighbors brought food to the farmhouse where the family lives, and an Amish woman was hanging clothes on a line beside the house on Friday. Reporters were asked to leave.

"The community has stepped up above and beyond," said Rachel Marler, a non-Amish neighbor.

Kentucky has nearly 8,000 Amish and 31 settlements, according to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa.

Graves County has up to 250, divided between two settlements, said Don Kraybill, a Young Center senior fellow.

On Friday afternoon, the battered buggy sat beside the creek in a cornfield. Its wheels were mud-caked and slightly buried in the thick brown soup. Part of the buggy's side had peeled away. A red blanket hung out of the cabin. The horse survived.

Yoder kept his own vigil, trudging through a muddy field at creekside when his niece's body was found.

"They crossed this creek, but when they came back they didn't realize it was still rising," he said, his voice choked with emotion.

___

Associated Press writers Dylan Lovan and Janet Cappiello Blake in Louisville, Ky., contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Northern California Wildfire Burns 100 Homes

Monday, 15 Sep 2014 22:38 PM

A fire driven by fierce winds raced through the small town of Weed, Calif., near the Oregon border on Monday, burning a  . . .

Senate Holds Hearing on DC Statehood

Monday, 15 Sep 2014 21:06 PM

In a renewed push to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., a federal hearing was held Monday for what some hope is the st . . .

James Foley's Parents 'Disappointed' Obama Next Played Golf

Monday, 15 Sep 2014 20:57 PM

James Foley's parents say they were "disappointed" when President Barack Obama hit the golf course just minutes after ma . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved