Family of Amish girls killed in crash reflect on their loss

Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 9:27 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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FILLMORE COUNTY, Minn. (KTTC) – One month has passed since Menno and Sarah Miller of rural Stewartville endured every parent’s worst nightmare.

Late last month, four of their young children were involved in a traffic crash north of Spring Valley.

Two of them, both girls, were killed when authorities said their horse-drawn buggy was rear-ended by an SUV.

Last week, KTTC learned the woman police said was originally behind the wheel may have been the woman’s identical twin sister.

“Every Monday about that time, you’re just like...ugh,” Menno Miller reflected, during an emotional interview with KTTC on October 26. He was surrounded by his six surviving children and his wife, Sarah.

Miller recalled Monday morning, September 25 the day he lost his Wilma and Irma.

“[There have been] a lot of tears,” he said. “I was told tears were healing and I believe that’s true.”

Two ribbons, tied around a bright yellow road sign to call attention to Amish buggies, are in memory of the 7-year-old and 11-year-old Miller sisters. They were on their way to school, on Fillmore County Road 1, when authorities say their buggy was hit from behind by an SUV.

“You get to the point where you kind of wonder why,” commented Miller.

In the comfort of their country home, just two-and-half miles from the crash site, on a rainy afternoon Miller invited our crew in for a visit to discuss those questions of why. It quickly became very clear that family is the center of their household.

Because of religious beliefs, Miller did not want to appear on camera; however, he permitted the recording of the 20-minute conversation.

He discussed the twists and turns of the on-going crash investigation, including how police now believe the woman who was first reported to be the driver of the striking SUV may have instead been her identical twin sister.

“Do we blame somebody? Yes and no,” he answered to his own question. “We struggle with that thought. It’s easy to think if she [the SUV’s driver] was paying attention that wouldn’t have happened.”

It was 13-year-old Rose Miller behind the reins of the horse when their buggy was hit. Miller recalled a recent conversation between young Rose and his wife.

“Maybe if I wasn’t driving it wouldn’t have happened,” he said about Rose. “And then Sarah told her, ‘no’ that we do believe the day God gave us these little girls, he knew the day he was going to take them.”

In the days and weeks since, the Millers emphasized how are grateful they have been, and continue to be, for the outpouring of support from people near and far.

“Without friends family and faith it would be impossible,” Miller stated.

Justice is not top of mind for the Millers, but they would like one thing -- an apology from whomever was behind-the-wheel the day their lives were forever changed.

“That would go a long ways,” concluded Miller. “Yes it would.”

As for the other two Miller children involved in the crash, Rose and 9-year-old Alan, physically, they are both doing well. Rose is back in school and Alan is doing his schoolwork from home for the time being.

The Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the Sumner Township crash. There have been no arrests.

Listen to KTTC’s full interview with Menno Miller below.