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Update on fatal buggy accident

A local Amish family is facing a long road to recovery after a horse-drawn buggy accident that resulted in the fatality of a Buckingham County resident.

As previously reported in The Herald, around 3:55 p.m. Dec. 20 the buggy was traveling east on Route 60 near High School Road when it was struck from behind by an eastbound 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickup. The vehicle was being driven by George M. Lee, 67, of Buckingham.

John Yoder, 36, who was seated outside, was thrown from the buggy when it was struck. Sylvia Yoder, 31, was transported to UVA Medical Center and succumbed to her injuries the following morning.

Four children in the buggy, two boys and two girls ranging in age from two to 10 years old, were transported from the scene to UVA Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. One of the buggy’s horses was euthanized at the scene, and the other horse was transported from the scene by a veterinarian for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.

According to Stevie Stoltzfus, leading minister for the Farmville district’s Amish community, the Yoder children have improved in condition since the Dec. 20 accident and were able to return home for Christmas to be with their family and community.

“We visited the family yesterday, and the children are all doing very well,” said Stoltzfus on Jan. 2.

The tragedy has prompted an influx of donations for the family, with local stores such as Wise Ridge Country Store in Dillwyn and Pine View Bulk Food & Deli in Farmville accepting donations.

“People have been generous with cash donations, prepared meals and even firewood,” Wise Ridge Country Store announced in a Dec. 25 Facebook post. “There is still a long road ahead for John and his children, so we are still accepting donations at the store and will be for the next month. Thank you all for your heartfelt generosity.”

A Go Fund Me fundraiser was also started by resident Faye Garrett Honebein in order to assist the Yoder family. The fundraiser has raised $4,324 of its $10,000 goal.

The Buckingham Chamber of Commerce has also donated $250 to the Yoder family and encourages local businesses and organizations to do the same.

Checks and cash can be mailed or taken to: Wise Ridge Country Store, 34 Wise Ridge Road Dillwyn, VA 23936.

The GoFundMe campaign to help the Yoder family can be found here.

Lee was not injured in the crash and has been charged with reckless driving. According to Virginia State Police, alcohol was not a factor in the crash. The incident remains under investigation.