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Driver Involved In Deadly Amish Buggy Crash Charged With Homicide By Vehicle     

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Driver Involved In Deadly Amish Buggy Crash Charged With Homicide By Vehicle                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Saturday, November 21, 2020 @ 12:11 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

amish-1728517_1280VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – A truck driver involved in a fatal Amish buggy crash that occurred earlier this year has been charged with homicide by vehicle.

According to court documents, Franklin-based State Police filed the following criminal charges against 55-year-old Richard Rock Stanford, of Punxsutawney, on Friday, November 20:

– Homicide By Vehicle, Felony 3 (two counts)
– Aggravated assault by vehicle, Felony 3 (two counts)

– Involuntary Manslaughter, Misdemeanor 1 (two counts)
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2 (five counts)
– Careless Driving – Unintentional Death, Summary (two counts)
– Careless Driving – Serious Bodily Injury, Summary (two counts)
– Follow Too Closely, Summary
– Careless Driving, Summary
– Reckless Driving, Summary

The charges stem from a fatal crash that occurred on State Route 208 in Irwin Township in March.

According to a criminal complaint, Franklin-based State Police were dispatched to a report of a crash involving a log truck and a horse-drawn cart in the area of 2414 State Route 208 in Irwin Township, Venango County, around 3:49 p.m. on March 8, 2020.

At the scene, police observed an empty red Peterbilt log truck with fresh damage to the front passenger side fender and several pieces of what was once a black open cart/buggy in the eastbound lane of State Route 208, as well as a deceased horse on the south side of the roadway.

Venango County Coroner Christina Rugh pronounced two of the passengers of the buggy, Mary Troyer, of Harrisville, and a known 10-year-old male juvenile, dead at the scene, both due to apparent blunt force trauma. The cause of death was later confirmed by autopsy, according to the complaint.

Another male juvenile passenger was transported from the scene by ambulance for minor injuries; a female juvenile was flown from the scene by UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh; and the driver of the buggy was flown from the scene to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The female juvenile was later found to have a broken pelvis as a result of the crash, and the buggy driver suffered from severe head trauma, a broken thumb, and a broken leg.

The driver of the log truck, identified as Richard Rock Stanford, was not injured.

He was interviewed at the scene.

According to the complaint, Stanford told police he was traveling east on State Route 208 when he struck the buggy and reported he was not sure at first what he hit. He then looked in his rearview mirror and saw the horse kicking in the roadway and then stopped the truck.

The complaint notes that when asked if he was on his cell phone at the time of the crash, Stanford said he was not but added that he has “texted and drove before,” saying that “everybody does it.”

A known female witness, who was traveling behind the log truck at the time of the crash, was also interviewed at the scene.

The witness reported that at first, she thought the truck had struck a tree on the road, then saw it was an Amish buggy. She said after the log truck stopped, Stanford exited it, screaming 9-1-1. The witness then called 9-1-1, according to the complaint.

The witness also told police she was traveling approximately 55 miles per hour behind the log truck. She was unable to remember if she saw the log truck’s brake lights come on before the impact with the buggy.

The Pennsylvania State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit (CARS) investigated the crash.

According to the complaint, it was determined that the truck’s brakes were not applied in a manner in which to leave marks on the roadway prior to or upon impact with the buggy.

On the buggy’s rear portion, there was an orange slow-moving vehicle triangle and reflective DOT tape, and the buggy was also equipped with lights, but the lights were not activated at the time of the crash.

According to court documents, Stanford was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Patrick E. Lowrey at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, November 20.

He is currently free on $25,000.00 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on December 2, with Judge Lowrey presiding.

RELATED:

Police Release Details on Fatal Crash Involving Amish Buggy

Mother, Son Dead After Log Truck Collides with Amish Buggy                                                                                                                                                                                                     https://www.exploreclarion.com/2020/11/21/driver-involved-in-deadly-amish-buggy-crash-charged-with-homicide-by-vehicle/

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23 minutes ago, mr.d said:

According to the complaint, it was determined that the truck’s brakes were not applied in a manner in which to leave marks on the roadway prior to or upon impact with the buggy.

ABS brakes wouldn't leave much of a mark. 

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53 minutes ago, buschpounder said:

Didn't know what he hit in broad daylight.

 

I wondered about that too. Don't know if it was a sunny day. I wouldn't think the Sun angle would be that bad that time of year at 3:49 PM.  Also states he was traveling east. 

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That is a very dangerous road to travel on! If he was coming up a hill and on a curve, he might not have seen them in time! There are farm equipment that travel that road as well, trust me, I know that road since I have traveled it to see my family that lives like 15 minutes from where it happened! I gave saying this for years that the Amish need a road to themselves and not on a main high traveled highway. But your local official shut me up when they told me it was ok for them to be on there too

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2 hours ago, busrolls36 said:

That is a very dangerous road to travel on! If he was coming up a hill and on a curve, he might not have seen them in time! There are farm equipment that travel that road as well, trust me, I know that road since I have traveled it to see my family that lives like 15 minutes from where it happened! I gave saying this for years that the Amish need a road to themselves and not on a main high traveled highway. But your local official shut me up when they told me it was ok for them to be on there too

It is ok for them to be there. People just need to be careful. Accidents happen no matter what is on the roadway.

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4 hours ago, Lyndsey33 said:

It is ok for them to be there. People just need to be careful. Accidents happen no matter what is on the roadway.

But where this happened at, this is a very dangerous road and the curves are awful! I have traveled that road all my life, and we were almost in an accident last fall coming from my aunt's, because there was farm equipment going slow and they were 10 vehicles that passed me and just about a mile away, there was a head on collision! Involving one that passed! Just like traveling on 119, they need an alternative road for the Amish so it's not only safe for them but us as well!

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Alternative routes aren't always possible.  Weather and road condition have to be considered. Consider that they would have to be built, cars would have to be banned, and they wouldn't be practical.

Being able to see the buggies better would help but there also has to be better signage to remind drivers that there may be slow moving traffic ahead, which may include farm equipment.

Any driver can look away at a critical moment but there should be a movement to create a safer way for everyone to travel and work.

 

 


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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26 minutes ago, mr.d said:

Out my way Amish buggys' have headlights, 4 red lights flashing on back and yellow strobe light on the roof.

You're right.  The Amish are very good about making sure they can be seen.  This is an accident where the truck may have even been traveling the speed limit, on a curve or over a small hill and he just didn't look in the right direction at the right time to spot them in time to stop.  It was also late afternoon when the lights may not even have been activated. Nothing can bring these poor people back, but something has to be done for the future.  I have an idea that I've been mulling over for a couple of years and I'm going to call Penn Dot about it on Monday.  I've already posed it to Amish friends and they think it would be a great idea.  We'll see.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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33 minutes ago, Petee said:

You're right.  The Amish are very good about making sure they can be seen.  This is an accident where the truck may have even been traveling the speed limit, on a curve or over a small hill and he just didn't look in the right direction at the right time to spot them in time to stop.  It was also late afternoon when the lights may not even have been activated. Nothing can bring these poor people back, but something has to be done for the future.  I have an idea that I've been mulling over for a couple of years and I'm going to call Penn Dot about it on Monday.  I've already posed it to Amish friends and they think it would be a great idea.  We'll see.

This road is very dangerous and like I’ve said before, I have traveled that same road all my life to see my family that lives 5 minutes from where it happened and it is a shame that this happened and I feel sorry for the driver as well, he has to olive with this his entire life! Good Luck into getting something done from PennDot, I tried the governor’s office and they flat out told me that they are allowed on the road and case closed! I’m just concerned with their safety as well 

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I don't like passing an Amish buggy even when it's legal--I'm always afraid I'm going to spook the horse.  If I do pass, I always give them plenty of room and make sure that I'm not speeding past them.   I will also admit there are times that I stay behind them with my 4 ways on so that I know at least one vehicle is kind of protecting them. 

Many of the Amish around here do a good job of staying off to the side, especially when there is a wider berm. 


"A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse." - Thomas Jefferson

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Yes, a young horse was the cause of an accident this past summer when it veered into the left lane right in front of a truck.  That's can't be avoided unless drivers are skilled and horses are well trained before being used on a highway.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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5 hours ago, Lizard said:

They may pay taxes but do they have insurance, registration, inspection and have to pass a drivers exam?

If you don't drive a motorized vehicle, you don't have to do any of that either. They follow every requirement that their state requires.  There are none of the restrictions for buggies that would apply to motorized vehicles.  They are not a danger to cars, any more than a bicycle is.  They pay every tax that the rest of us do, and are far less damaging on the environment than the English, meaning, not Amish. 


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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6 hours ago, Lizard said:

They may pay taxes but do they have insurance, registration, inspection and have to pass a drivers exam?

Do you have to pay insurance, registration, inspection, and have to pass an exam to walk?    Horses & buggies existed before such requirements.  Heck, horses and buggies existed before there were roads.

 

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