HILLSDALE COUNTY- An Amish community is mourning the loss of a 10-month-old baby boy, killed Tuesday when a minivan rear-ended a horse drawn carriage in Hillsdale County.
State Police say Michael Steury Jr. died at St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. His parents and 18-month-old sister were also injured in the crash, none seriously.
It happened around 3:30 in the afternoon on Montgomery Road. Police say the minivan and buggy were both headed West, when the van, driven by 70-year-old Doris Johns, crashed into the carriage.
"She saw the vehicle ahead, but just didn't anticipate the distance and because of that we have a tragedy," 1st Lt. Mike Krumm, with Michigan State Police said.
The crash pushed the buggy into the horse, spooking it. The animal then fled, pulling the buggy into a ditch where it overturned. The Steury's were tossed from the carriage.
No one in the van was injured. The horse was also okay.
State Police believe speed was a factor in the crash, but say it is still under investigation.
This is the second rear-end crash involving a buggy and vehicle in two weeks for Hillsdale County. No one was injured in that May 23, crash.
"Just because they have different transportation doesn't give you the right to fly around them anymore than it does if you see a piece of farm equipment going down the road," Jason Thompson, who frequently travels Montgomery Road said.
Officers agree and say drivers in the area must keep aware.
"You really have to respect the difference in speed," Krumm said. "A van or an automobile traveling at 55 miles an hour is quite a bit different from a horse drawn vehicle traveling 12 or 15."
State Police are planning to pass on their investigation to the Hillsdale County Prosecutor's Office for possible charges.