Lawmakers react to 4-year-old falling from Amish buggy and dying

LAGRANGE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department said a 4-year-old died after falling from an Amish buggy.

According to a department report, an adult was operating the buggy near County Road 600 South and 300 West when the child fell to the pavement.

The incident happened sometime Saturday, but information wasn’t made available until Sunday.

Investigators said when first responders arrived they found the child unconscious. Life-saving efforts were performed on the child, but they were not able to revive the child.

The report said the child was riding in the backseat of a double buggy, but it’s not known why the child fell out.

The incident is under investigation.

State Rep. David Wilkins, R-District 18, oversaw the Amish of Lagrange County until redistricting in 2010. He doesn’t believe there is anything they could do or should do about about children riding in Amish buggies.

“Well, they do need protection,” he said. “That’s something that the parents need to take control of. I mean you can’t go passing laws every time there’s an accident. Accidents happen. It’s a tragic event and I sympathize with the family. But what could you do? Should we outlaw buggies off the road? Should we require child restraints and so forth? We try to stay out of the Amish’s business. Separation of church and state.”

Wolkins added that unless children falling out of buggies becomes a recurring trend, they won’t be making any new laws.

State Sen. Travis Holdman, R-District 19, oversees the Amish in Adams County. He leaves these issues up to Amish religious leaders.

“Typically if the bishop gives word that people in the Amish community need to do something, most of those folks obey what their bishops tell them to do,” he said.

Holdman said he meets with the Amish in his district from time to time and believes this will most likely be a topic of discussion at the next meeting.