A pickup truck slammed into a horse-drawn carriage in Missouri on Thursday, killing an 8-year-old Mennonite boy and seriously injuring four members of his family, including two other children, authorities say. The crash happened at around 6:45am in a remote area of St. Francois County, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis, the Highway Patrol says. The Mennonite family was on the way to pick blueberries at a nearby farm when the truck slammed into the back of their carriage, patrol Cpl. Juston Wheetley tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The truck went over the top of it. It's literally destroyed," he says of the carriage. The 8-year-old died at the scene. The other two children, ages 10 and 12, were taken to St. Louis Children's Hospital with serious injuries, the AP reports.
The injured adults, ages 50 and 28, were also seriously hurt and were taken to Barnes-Jewish Hospital, authorities say. The pickup truck's 19-year-old driver and his passenger were not hurt, and the driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with police, Wheetley says. He says the crash happened on a straight stretch of the two-lane highway and that the carriage had an orange safety placard attached. He says it isn't clear how fast the truck was going. The county's Mennonite community was established just two years ago. Wheetley says Mennonite and Amish carriages have previously been struck by motorized vehicles in Missouri, but Thursday's crash is the most "severe" he is aware of in that area. (Last month, three children were killed in a similar crash in Michigan.)