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A Buggy Was Rear-Ended. 8 Children Were Orphaned

The Esh family was close to their Virginia home when they were hit
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2021 1:52 AM CDT
A Buggy Was Rear-Ended. 8 Children Were Orphaned
An Amish horse and buggy cross a road near Fremontin in Steuben County, Ind., Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

(Newser) – Eight children were injured—and left orphaned—on Sunday night when their family's horse-drawn buggy was rear-ended in central Virginia. The Amish family's buggy, which did have working lights and the required reflective "slow-moving vehicle" placard, was hit by a Toyota Tundra that initially left the scene but later returned. Barbie Esh, 38, died at the scene; her husband, John Z. Esh, 39, died the following day at a hospital. Their children, ranging in age from 9 months to 16 years, had injuries ranging from minor to serious, CNN reports. They were just two minutes from home when they were hit, a friend tells NBC 12. The horse survived its injuries, NBC 29 reports.

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"Please pray for these 8 children as they prepare to face life without their parents," reads a GoFundMe campaign raising money for the family. It says all the children had been released from the hospital by Wednesday night and would be in attendance at the funeral Thursday. An investigation into the crash, which the friend says left the buggy in three pieces, is ongoing, and charges are pending. The driver was not injured. "If you’re behind a buggy DON’T pass until it’s safe to do so with a clear view around them," reads a fire department post alerting drivers to heavy buggy traffic for the funeral. "Preferably a passing zone. Don’t hog or tailgate, rev your engine or blow your horns when passing." (Read more Virginia stories.)

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