ALEXANDRIA, N.Y. (WWTI) — The North Country is continuing to recover following a deadly motor vehicle crash.
On September 20, a GMC pickup truck hit an Amish buggy on County Route 2 in Alexandria, New York.
The buggy was carrying the Slabaughs, a local Amish family who had four children with them. Due to the crash, however, their one and three-year-old children died.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office identified the victims as Ananias and Andy Slabaugh.
“Our heart goes out to not only the Amish community and the family of this tragedy, but also the operator of the motor vehicle,” Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Barnett expressed during the investigation. “This is just a tragic accident that we don’t want to see any more of.”
This is now a big reason why the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement have pleaded with drivers to share the roadway.
“You’ve got to pay attention,” Sheriff Barnet stated. “Not only to an Amish buggy, but also to pedestrians, bicycles and farm equipment this time of year with harvesting. There are a lot of slow-moving vehicles out there along with pedestrians. These roadways are not solely made for vehicles.”
A week after the crash, Alexandria Town Supervisor Brent Sweet confirmed that the town is working to put more Amish buggy signs on roadways within Alexandria’s jurisdiction.
There are already several on county roads. He said that this might help remind drivers to use caution in rural areas.
But Sheriff Barnett said it all comes down to remaining alert behind the wheel.
“Two hands on the wheel, eyes forward and pay attention,” he stated. “There shouldn’t be any distractions. Driving has become very dangerous these days and we all have to be on the lookout, not only for the Amish and their buggies in light of this tragic accident. It’s just a reminder to us all that we need to pay attention.”
The crash that killed Ananias and Andy Slabaugh remains under investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. At this time there are no charges against the driver of the GMC pickup truck.
The remaining Slabaugh family members, two adults and two children, sustained injuries, but were released from Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. They are “presumably recovering from their injuries at home and grieving the loss of their two sons,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.