SMICKSBURG, Pa. - A toddler was killed after a truck backed up and struck her in remote Amish town.
The Indiana County Coroner's Office said the accident happened at about 5 p.m. Thursday at a home in Smicksburg.
Coroner Jerry Overman Jr. said a man was unloading tools and equipment from the bed of a pickup operated by another man. He said the driver backed up, heard a thump and thought it was a rock, but then got outside and found Martha Byler unresponsive.
The child, 18 months old, was pronounced dead less than an hour and a half later.
“Everybody’s sad that it happened, especially being a little child like she was,” said Mayor David Stietler. “They don’t use phones, so they had to go to the nearest house, which is a quarter or half mile away, to use the phone to call.”
People in the community were saddened by the news.
“It’s heartbreaking. The Amish are so thoughtful and helpful to everybody,” said Marylou Rolls.
Rolls runs the Village Eating House. She describes the Amish as private people, but in a town with fewer than 50 residents, they have become an extended family.
“We are all pitching in to take food up to them and anything we can do to help because in turn, they would help us,” said Rolls.
The coroner said in a news release that her death had been ruled accidental. State police in Punxsutawney are investigating.
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