Three Amish children are dead after a pickup truck collided with their horse-drawn carriage in southern Michigan, CNN reported. The children, aged 2, 4 and 6, were riding along a road in Algansee Township, an area near Michigan's borders with Indiana and Ohio, on Friday when their carriage was rear-ended.
All three kids were ejected from the carriage, Michigan State Police told CNN. Other passengers in the carriage — two adults and two children — were transported to hospitals in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. They suffered serious injuries in the crash, as they were also ejected from the carriage, according to ABC15.
Sky News reported that the three children who died were pronounced dead on the scene. The relationships between the passengers inside the carriage are unknown at this time.
The pickup truck driver was identified as Tyler Frye. He was arrested, State Police Sgt. Todd Price said, according to CNN. He's been charged with three counts of operating while under the influence causing death, two counts of operating under the influence causing serious injury, and a felony weapons charge.
Frye, 21, was taken into police custody, and held on $500,000 bond while he awaited arraignment on Monday, CNN reported. Jail records did not include an attorney representing him.
Little else is known about the accident at this time. The names of the deceased victims have not been revealed, nor the extent of the injuries to the victims currently fighting for their lives.
The Algansee Township has a high population of Amish people, all of whom travel around in horse-drawn buggies. The community is committed to avoiding getting too close to the outside world, for fear of having their morals corrupted. Shunning the use of cars is part of that effort, according to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Without access to vehicles, members of the Amish faith are more likely to stay in the communities in which they're raised and remain in the religion.
"By bringing greater mobility, cars would pull the community apart, eroding local ties," an article on the center's website stated. "Horse and buggy transportation keeps the community anchored in its local geographical base."
Mission to Amish People, a website dedicated to sharing information about the Amish community, has a registry of the many accidents involving carriages, or buggies, and cars each year. While there is no overall count of how many there are each year, a scroll through the site shows that they occur often and in many cases prove fatal.