Three Amish children were killed and a fourth was critically injured after a car crashed into their horse-drawn buggy on Wednesday, according to the Lansing State Journal.
The collision, which took place in Chester Township, Mich., happened when the children — all of whom were siblings — were traveling home from school around 3:20 p.m.
An elderly man driving a motor vehicle struck the children's buggy from behind, killing three of the siblings and sending the fourth to the hospital. The children were between the ages of six and 13.
"It's a horrible, horrible tragedy," Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich said. "My heart goes out to the family."
Police have not released the names of the children yet, and Reich said the exact cause of the crash is still under investigation. The elderly man, who has also not yet been identified, was sent to the hospital for evaluation on Wednesday. The fourth child was hospitalized as well but is now considered to be in stable condition.
This is the second crash between a buggy and a motor vehicle to claim lives in Michigan this year. In June, three children — aged two, four and six — were killed after a drunk driver slammed his pickup truck into the back of their carriage.
In that instance, all seven passengers of the buggy — five children and two adults — were tossed from their vehicle. The 21-year-old pickup truck driver was arrested and face multiple charges, including operating while under the influence causing death.
Wednesday's crash caused some to call for legal changes that would help protect buggy drivers in the region.
"I bawled all the way home," Kevin Newton, who said he lives in the area and knew the children killed in the crash, told the Lansing State Journal. "They've got to do something, pass a law or something. They should have more signs out."
Michigan law currently treats horse-drawn buggies similarly to motor vehicles, despite the fact that a driver's license is not required to operate them. There are currently more than 16,000 Amish residents living in Michigan, making it home to the country's sixth-largest Amish population.