Mother in Amish buggy crash dies from injuries

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Driver of vehicle that struck an Amish buggy carrying 10 in Taylor County was allegedly under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of crash.

Several children were seriously injured and a mother is dead as a result of a pickup truck rear-ending a horse-drawn buggy full of Amish family members on Nov. 24, according Taylor County Sheriff Larry Woebbeking.

The Sheriff's Office said the crash was reported about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24 on County E in the town of Little Black.

The horse-drawn buggy was headed north on County E when it was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by Skyler Opelt, 35, of Medford.

Opelt is being held in the Taylor County Jail and has been charged with seven counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance causing injury. He is also charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle along with second degree reckless injury.

Nine passengers in the buggy were injured in the crash and transported to an area hospital. Authorities said that eight of the nine people injured had suffered "significant injuries". The mother, who was among the severely injured died Friday night, authorities said.<

Online court records show Opelt was already facing felony escape charges in a case filed Nov. 8 and was on probation at the time of the crash.

The names of the victims have not been released.