Man killed, 3 injured in Amish buggy crash

BURTON, Ohio (AP) – A man driving an SUV was drunk and speeding when he slammed into the back of a buggy carrying an Amish family on a dark road in northeastern Ohio, killing one person and injuring three others, the State Highway Patrol said.

Joseph Byler, 28, died at a Cleveland hospital following the crash at about 9 p.m. Sunday near Burton in Geauga County, the patrol said. His 23-year-old sister, Irene; 19-year-old sister, Alma; and 50-year-old mother, Esther, were all taken to hospitals for treatment but are expected to survive.

The father, Eli Byler, who was driving the buggy, refused treatment at the scene.

A Ford Explorer driven by a 42-year-old Ashtabula man crashed into the back of the buggy on State Route 168 and kept going, patrol Lt. Mark Neff said. The SUV became disabled about a mile from the crash, where the man was detained by Geauga County sheriff’s deputies.

The SUV driver hasn’t been charged yet, Neff said. Results of the investigation will be sent to the county prosecutor’s office and any charges will come from there. Neff said a breath test showed the man’s blood-alcohol level was “slightly over the limit.”

The impact from the crash destroyed the buggy. The horse broke loose and was hit and killed by a second car. The driver of that car was treated for minor injuries.

The crash occurred near the Bylers’ home, about 40 miles east of Cleveland.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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