Five Amish killed in car crash in New YorkBy Mennonite Weekly Review staff
BENTON, N.Y. — Five Amish were killed July 19 in upstate New York when a car trying to pass a slow-moving farm tractor collided head-on with their van.
The driver of the van, who is not Amish, was taking 13 Amish to visit area farms, according to the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle.
The Democrat and Chronicle said the sheriff’s office identified those who were killed — all of Steuben County — as Melvin Hershberger, 42; Sarah Miller, 47; Melvin Hostetler, 40; Anna Mary Byler, 60; and Elizabeth Mast, 46.
Ten people were injured in the crash.
The 42-year-old driver of the car has been charged with five counts of criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated.
It didn’t take long for the community to gather in mourning for the deceased.
On July 20, the New York Times reported “buggies were sitting empty in the summer heat outside the home of an elder.”
The sign outside the local firehouse said “our prayers to our Amish.”
The Times noted that while upstate New York has struggled with population and economic decline, the Amish have immigrated to the state in droves. Communities like Benton are being transformed, as the number of Amish in New York has doubled over the past decade.
“Amish farmers and craftsmen have quietly changed the landscape across western and upstate New York, reviving some farming towns and causing moderate conflicts in others, often over building and zoning requirements that are counter to austere Amish customs,” the Times said.
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