4 Amish Children Killed In Buggy Accident Identified
MAYFIELD, Ky. - A western Kentucky coroner has identified the Amish children who died when their buggy tipped over in a flooded creek.
It happened in Dublin, a sparsely populated farming community in far western Kentucky.
Rescuers found three bodies early Friday, then recovered the fourth later in the morning.
Hickman County Coroner Paula Boaz said the dead include three siblings, 8-year-old Samuel Wagler, 5-year-old Sarahmae Wagler and 5-month-old Rosemary Wagler. The fourth child is their cousin, 11-year-old Elizabeth Wagler.
Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon and 300 volunteers helped look for the children along the banks of the creek overnight. They recovered the bodies of the three younger children, but held out hope that 11-year-old Elizabeth was alive and holding on to tree or rock through the night.
"You know it's a tough case when ever you investigate an accident or death, but when you take away small children, especially four at one time. It's very heart wrenching," said Sheriff Redmon.
The coroner said all four children drowned.
Nine members of their family were on their way home Thursday evening when their buggy was swept away by the swift-moving creek.
Authorities said the group was traveling in a downpour in the dark about 8:30 p.m. Thursday when the buggy flipped during a severe storm. The buggy was crossing a creek that is normally a trickle but that often floods during heavy rains.
"From what we can tell the preliminary investigation shows it was purely an accident. They just attempted to cross the water that they didn't know was deep," added Sheriff Redmon.
Samuel Wagler, the father of the 11-year-old Elizabeth, said his brother and family had come to his house for dinner after they made a phone call to their father in Missouri from a nearby Amish community phone.
He said Elizabeth was then headed home with his brother to spend the night.
Two adults and three other children escaped. The horse that was pulling the buggy also survived.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)