3 people seriously injured in horse-drawn buggy accident in Texas County, Mo.

Published: Jul. 20, 2019 at 8:07 PM CDT
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A mother and her two children were seriously injured Friday night after a pickup ran into the back of a horse-drawn buggy in northwest Texas County. There's been multiple accidents in that same area, just in the past two years.

Highway Patrol says a pickup, driven by 69-year-old Ronald Thomas of Licking, was traveling southbound on highway AT, about five miles northwest of Licking, around 6 PM, when it hit the back of an Amish buggy carrying three people.

39-year-old Mattie Nunschwander and her two children, 6-year-old Sam and 4-year-old Jonas Nunschwander were all seriously injured and flown to St. Louis hospitals.

The buggy was totaled.

Thomas was not injured.

Toni Sellman lives nearby. She's lived in the Licking area for 20 years and says the Amish population is growing.

"I've noticed they're kind of growing around this area," Sellman said.

It's normal for her to see buggies traveling down N Highway.

"Four, five, sometimes six times a day. Whether they're going in to town or coming back. All day usually. They're back and forth constantly," Sellman told KY3.

This is the third accident involving an Amish buggy in the Licking area since September of 2017.

The other two accidents involved the same driver hitting separate buggies on the same rural road - only nine months apart.

The most recent in June of last year, killed a 29-year-old pregnant woman.

Sellman says the Amish do what they can to give drivers a fair warning.

"They also have the blinking lights as well as the orange symbol....the triangle symbol on the back of their buggies."

She is very cautious when she encounters buggies on the road.

"When we see them, we stay behind them for as long as we can, she explained. We wait until we can get a clear section to pass and then we get over as far as we can, that way we don't spook their horse and things like that. Then we wave to them. We roll down the window and say thank you and we'll go by. Sometimes they'll even stop for us."

Sellman would like to see more share the road signs in the area to remind drivers to be on the lookout.

"It breaks my heart to see this, because some people in this town just don't have respect for them...they don't. And really it's sad because they share the roads and we have to respect them. There needs to be more awareness of the Amish here."

Earlier this month, a 7-year-old boy was killed and four others were injured when their horse drawn buggy was hit by a car in St. Francis County, Missouri.