A pickup truck driver suspected to be under the influence of alcohol remained jailed Sunday after he crashed into the back of an Amish buggy in northwestern Minnesota and killed a woman and injured her brother, authorities said.
The collision occurred about 7:35 p.m. Saturday on Hwy. 92 in the Clearwater County community of Leon Township, according to the State Patrol.
Elsie Yoder, 23, of nearby Clearbrook, was hospitalized Saturday night in Fargo and later died, the patrol said Sunday.
Driving the horse-drawn buggy was her brother, 27-year-old Mervin Yoder, also from Clearbrook. He was treated for less serious injuries at a hospital in nearby Bagley, the patrol said.
Christopher K. Baumann, 27, of Nevis, Minn., was heading south when he hit the buggy from behind, the patrol said. Baumann, whom authorities suspect was drinking before the crash, remained jailed Sunday pending charges.
“The driver was impaired by alcohol,” said Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson.
Nielson said Baumann was being held on suspicion of criminal vehicular operation, a felony. An upgraded charge of criminal vehicular homicide against him could be filed by the county attorney’s office early this week.
A representative from Clearwater County dispatch wouldn’t comment on details of the crash, including whether the buggy was equipped with the reflective orange safety triangle required by state law for vehicles moving at less than 30 miles per hour.
An alternate black triangle with a white reflective border may be displayed during the day, but between sundown and sunrise it must be replaced with the orange triangle.
Such a vehicle must also have at least 72 inches of red reflective tape on its rear, state statute says.
Cars and buggies have collided at least 65 times on U.S. roads in 2017, according to the website Mission to Amish People, and at least five people have died as a result. Wisconsin has logged three car-buggy crashes so far in 2017 while Minnesota has had two, according to the website.
An SUV rear-ended a buggy on July 25 in Little Sauk Township in central Minnesota, injuring two people.
On July 18, a car-buggy crash in the town of Hansen, Wis., killed one person and injured two.
There are more than 3,000 Amish people in Minnesota clustered in 14 settlements, according to the website Amish America, mostly in the southeast near the Iowa border and in the central-northwest part of the state.
Wisconsin is home to one of the largest Amish populations in the country, totaling more than 15,000 people, the Amish America site said.
Staff writer Erin Adler contributed to this report.