Amish man accused of drinking and driving horse-drawn buggy ‘blames crash on one of seven children’

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An Amish man accused of operating a horse-drawn carriage while under the influence has been arrested on 10 felony counts in Kentucky.

Police responded to a crash at an intersection in the home rule-class city of Smiths Grove — where residents are provided the ability to govern themselves as they see fit.

There they found Reuben Yoder, a 34-year-old man, who had allegedly side-swiped a vehicle while operating the horse and buggy with children in the carriage, whose ages ranged from 9 months to 12-years-old, the Bowling Green Daily News reported. Other reports said Mr Yoder was driving with seven children in total when the crash occurred.

The local paper reported that an arrest citation had accused Mr Yoder of appearing drunk, saying he “exhibited poor balance and stated he had consumed alcoholic beverages.”

The report also noted Mr Yoder had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and even blamed the accident on one of his own children.

“(Yoder) initially claimed one of his children was operating the buggy,” Wes Jenkins, assistant chief of the Smiths Grove police department, reportedly wrote in the citation. Mr Yoder’s children eventually identified him as the driver, the report said.

A representative for the city of Smiths Grove confirmed the reporting in a phone call with The Independent on Thursday, saying news about the crash had been covered on local television throughout the day.

Mr Yoder faces nine counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, one count of first-degree criminal mischief and another count of operating a non-motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.

Each charge comes with a possible five-year prison sentence.

He was arraigned yesterday by a Warren County judge who imposed a $2,500 (£1,972) surety bond.

The driver of the vehicle that was hit by Mr Yoder said she attempted to avoid the crash after spotting the buggy just before the incident occurred. She reportedly was not injured in the collision.

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