Rural road safety in Fillmore County

Rural road safety in Fillmore County

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(ABC 6 News) – Late last September, two Amish girls were killed when their buggy was hit by a car on County Road 1 in Fillmore County.

Just last Friday, a second buggy was hit not even a mile down the road from the first crash, just a few months later.

Luckily. no one was critically hurt, but the Fillmore County Sheriff Office has partially identified the person behind the wheel.

According to FCSO, it was a 32-year-old female from Spring Valley.

Two crashes in six months has many people in the community worried about the safety of the road.

“County Road 1, I feel, is dangerous because people go too fast,” said Pam Phillips of Spring Valley.

Speeding and dangerous driving loomed at the front of the public’s mind in Fillmore County ever since the road was reconstructed five years ago.

— RELATED: FCSO warrants: Woman accused of driving car in fatal buggy crash may have swapped places with sister

And it’s not just everyday drivers taking notice.

“A lot of it is, Google Maps will send individuals on the closest route, which is to Rochester coming from the South 63, and then if they keep going straight on [County Road 1], it will put you in Rochester quicker than going out to 63 and up,” said Ron Gregg, a Fillmore County engineer.

Gregg says this highly traveled road meets all requirements but believes a paved shoulder would keep dangerous crashes from happening.

“There is an Amish by-way area from here down to Harmony and beyond, and that’s basically paved shoulders on the highway. So, I think by paving it would give them the opportunity to be off and get outside the travel lane,” said Gregg.

The county did apply to get those paved shoulders, but was unsuccessful. But it’s a mission officials are still hoping to achieve.

— RELATED: Charges: Driver in deadly Amish buggy crash was on meth, had her twin sister take the fall

Those that drive the road every day, however, say there are other ways to keep it safe for everyone.

“Maybe just having more patrols out there, because I cross that road every day when I walk my dog and I see it every day and at different times of the day, so, and if they gave them tickets every time, no warnings,” said Phillips.

One person told ABC 6 News he used to see many buggies on the road, including the Miller children involved in the first crash. They used to come say hi to his dog on their way to and from school, but now buggies aren’t seen on the road as much anymore.