According to a Sheriff in New York State, tragedy struck several families yesterday when a car tried to pass a slow moving farm tractor on a two lane road.  As the van crossed the dividing lines of the road, it sideswiped an oncoming van, which then crashed into the tractor, killing five people and seriously injuring nine others, including the driver of the tractor.

According to Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike, five people in the van were pronounced dead at the scene of the late night/early morning crash. Nine others were taken to local hospitals, some with "very serious" injuries. 

"In passing, (the car) glanced off the van and went off the highway and the van ended up going underneath the farm tractor."  Sheriff Yates was also quoted as saying: "It's just a horrific tragedy.  It really strained the EMS services and fire departments." The sheriff was also quoted as saying the crash was one of the worst crashes in the history of the county.

Although we live in a heavily populated metropolitan area with two great cities within forty miles of each other, there are still many areas of our region where working farms and suburban life overlap.  In Prince George's County, Montgomery County, Frederick County, Howard County and Calvert County, as well as many other Maryland counties, we live and commute to our jobs in Washington,D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland,  yet working farms still operate in some ways just as they did at the turn of the century.  

In today's world, with all its modern technological advancements and its frantic pace, it is not unusual in our area to see slow moving tractors on the roadways.   Yet modern cars and trucks can exceed speeds of one hundred miles per hour.  

Safety is too important to overlook when you come upon a slow moving vehicle like a farm tractor. Please be aware of the dangers associated with farm equipment using our roads.  In our modern technological times, its easy to forget a slower time of life, when horses, carriages, and farm tractors were plentiful and on every roadway.  When it comes to matters of safety on the roadways, where a life can be lost in a blink of an eye, what's your hurry?

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