Amish family seriously injured when struck by car operated by driver with record of speeding and DUI
MECHANICSVILLE, MD. — A Mechanicsville man with a history of collecting speeding tickets and who pleaded guilty to a DUI struck an Amish family in their buggy on Maryland Rt. 6 just after midnight on July 9, 2016.
The crash took place on the same stretch of road where James Windell Price Jr. was arrested for DUI by a Maryland State Trooper on Aug. 7, 2011, at 1:58 am.
Police say that Price was operating a 2000 Nissan Ultima westbound on Rt. 6 when he struck an Amish buggy operated by Aaron Hertzler, 33, of Mechanicsville, Md., and sent the family of seven flying to trauma centers. Maryland State Police report that Hertzler, with his wife and five children as passengers, were in their buggy operating on the wide shoulder of the highway, also westbound, when Hertzler attempted to make a left turn into Culver Lane at about 12:26 am.
Police report that Price’s vehicle struck the horse-drawn buggy with the force of the crash ejected all occupants of the buggy and injured the horse. The family was flown to trauma centers in Washington, D.C. by two Maryland State Police helicopters and the United States Park Police helicopter Eagle One. The parents went to Washington Hospital Center and the children to the nearby Children’s Hospital.
The Maryland State Police Crash Team was called upon to investigate and the St. Mary’s County States Attorney’s Office sent a staff member to the scene as well, a typical practice where the lives of those injured hangs in the balance.
Price’s history of speeding tickets as well as his prior DUI conviction which ended in a Probation Before Judgement, no jail time, and a fine of $185, in a plea deal approved by St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz, will be weighed along with the results of the investigation which may or may not result in charges against either driver.
When Price, of 38321 Henrietta Lane, in Mechanicsville, Md., was arrested for DUI on the same stretch of road five years earlier he was also operating the 2000 Nissan, the same vehicle as involved in this serious personal injury crash.
On May 9, 2016, Price entered a guilty plea to speeding on Md. 231 at Hallowing Point Park in Calvert County. He was fined $80 in Calvert District Court and was operating the same Nissan.
The Amish buggies are generally lighted front and back and some also have turn signals. The crash took place adjacent to where the Hertzler family has operated a small general store and produce stand for decades with much of the family living along Culver Lane.
Drivers/passengers as listed by the Maryland State Police:
Driver Vehicle # 1- James Windell Price Jr, 25 of Mechanicsville,
Passenger Vehicle # 1- Anthony Eugene Swiderski, 21 of Aquasco, Md.
Amish Buggy: Aaron Hertzler, 33 of Mechanicsville
Katie Hertzler, 30 of Mechanicsville
Juvenile Female, 15 months old, of Mechanicsville
Juvenile Female, 3 of Mechanicsville
Juvenile Female, 5 of Mechanicsville
Juvenile Female, 7 of Mechanicsville
Juvenile Male, 8 of Mechanicsville