Police respond to multiple horse and buggy crashes; 2 dead

Emergency crews responded to a horse and buggy crash on State Road 37 and Notestine Road on Nov. 20, 2016.
Emergency crews responded to a horse and buggy crash on State Road 37 and Notestine Road on Nov. 20, 2016.

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A series of crashes in northeast Allen County tied up emergency responders for several hours Sunday night.

All three involved horse and buggies.

The most serious of the crashes happened on State Road 37 and Notestine Road around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The Allen County Sherriff’s Department confirmed two people were killed and one person was hospitalized in critical condition.

According to the Allen County Coroner’s Office, 18-year-old Rebecca Graber of Grabill and 16-year-old Michelle Graber of Fort Wayne were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Both Rebecca and Michelle died of blunt force trauma due to a motor vehicle crash, the manner of which was an accident. The report did not mention how Rebecca and Michelle are related.

Allen County Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Captain Steve Stone said a pickup truck involved in the crash remained at the scene, but the driver has not been located. The license plate on the pickup truck was determined to be “false and fictitious,” as they came back registered to another vehicle.

Stone said Fort Wayne and New Haven police officers are looking for the person connected to the crash.

A second crash involving a horse and buggy happened shortly after the first about one mile east on Notestine Road near Thimler Road. Emergency dispatchers said the occupants of the horse and buggy sustained minor injuries.

A third crash was reported shortly before 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the 17300 block of Doty Road. Emergency dispatchers confirmed to NewsChannel 15 one person was taken to a hospital in serious condition.

Stone said the three crashes do not appear to be connected as drivers involved in the other two crashes have been accounted for.

Dozens of emergency workers remained on S.R. 37 reconstructing the crash and collecting any possible evidence.

All three crashes remain under investigation.