Man charged in buggy crash that killed couple and injured 8 children

FARMVILLE, Virginia (AP) – A Virginia man is facing charges in an accident with an Amish horse-drawn buggy that killed a Cumberland County couple and injured their eight children.

A Cumberland County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Mickel Bates, 60, of Farmville, on two counts of manslaughter and reckless driving in the deaths of Barbie and John Esh, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Bates declined to comment when reached by telephone by The Associated Press.

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The buggy was traveling south on Cumberland Road in the Farmville area before 8 p.m. on October 17 with 10 family members on board when it was struck by a southbound Toyota Tundra, police said in a Press release. Barbie Esh died at the scene and her husband died the next day in a hospital. Their eight children, aged 9 months to 16 years, were taken to hospital for treatment for injuries ranging from minor to serious, police said.

The buggy was fitted with the required “slow moving vehicle” placard and functioning headlights and taillights, police said.

State police said horse-drawn vehicles are becoming popular in Buckingham, Cumberland, Charlotte and Halifax counties. Two people were seriously injured days before the fatal crash when another buggy was hit in Richmond County.

Copyright 2022 by Richmond Times-Dispatch – All Rights Reserved.

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