A Minnesota Woman Was Charged With Crashing Into An Amish Buggy And Asking Her Twin Sister To Take The Fall

Published February 13, 2024
Updated February 14, 2024

Samantha Petersen was reportedly high on meth when she crashed her SUV into an Amish buggy — then her twin sister attempted to take the fall.

Samantha Petersen

Fillmore County and Olmsted County Sheriff’s OfficesSarah Petersen (left) and her twin sister Samantha Petersen (right).

Last fall, a woman in Stewartville, Minnesota, allegedly crashed her vehicle into a horse and buggy, killing two children and injuring two others. She then tried to trick authorities into believing it had been her twin sister behind the wheel, according to court documents.

Samantha Petersen, 35, was charged with 21 counts, including criminal vehicular homicide, driving under the influence of drugs, leaving the scene of a crash, failing to provide insurance, careless driving, and speeding.

The Amish Buggy Crash That Killed Two Children

Per a complaint filed in the Fillmore County District Court, Petersen was driving her silver SUV on a rural road southeast of Minneapolis on Sept. 25, 2023, when she collided with the Amish buggy. The collision sent the buggy careening into a ditch, killing the horse that was pulling it as well as two children, 11-year-old Irma Miller and 7-year-old Wilma Miller.

Two other children were injured in the collision. Their 13-year-old sister suffered facial injuries, and their nine-year-old brother was left with a broken shoulder, internal injuries, bleeding in his brain, and a concussion.

Court documents show that Petersen immediately dialed 911 — and then called her sister.

According to a GoFundMe campaign set up for the family, the children were on their way to school at the time of the collision.

Petersen’s sister, Sarah Beth, arrived at the scene and told police that she had been the one driving the vehicle. Samantha Petersen then told police she had just arrived at the scene after receiving a call from her sister. However, while recording an interview with Sarah Beth, an investigator briefly walked away, leaving the device running — and captured a revealing conversation between Sarah Beth and Samantha Petersen.

How Sarah Beth And Samantha Petersen Tried To Trick Authorities

Seemingly unaware that she was still being recorded, Sarah Beth Petersen reportedly told her sister, “I think that one of the guys is onto me, but I don’t really care… There’s no way they would ever know the difference between the two of us, so they can’t tell.”

Investigators quickly realized that the twins were trying to deceive them. The complaint also states that security camera footage revealed that the women even swapped clothes before police arrived at the scene.

But why would Sarah Beth take the fall for her sister in this deadly incident? Well, as it turns out, Samantha Petersen was allegedly high on methamphetamine, amphetamines, and THC at the time of the crash.

Miller Family

Personal PhotoThe children of the Miller family. Irma (right) and Wilma (second from right) died in the crash.

In fact, she even reportedly called the human resources department at her job shortly after the wreck. As the HR manager later told police, Petersen said, “I f—ed up… I just killed two Amish people. They were kids… I just hit a f—ing buggy… I’m not sober… I’m high on meth.”

The court documents also show that the police recovered messages between Samantha Petersen and a friend in which the friend texted Petersen about the crash, prompting Petersen to respond: “I don’t think you realize that I did that… I hit that Amish buggy and killed two people… Made Sarah take the fall for it so I wouldn’t go to prison.”

Further investigation into Samantha Petersen’s phone allegedly revealed that she also conducted a rather specific Google search: “What happens if you get in an accident with an Amish buggy and kill two people?”

Court records reveal that Petersen was previously convicted of drunk driving in October 2015 and impaired driving under a controlled substance in August 2018. She also has a history of giving a false name to law enforcement. Samantha Petersen is due in court on March 25, and if convicted of the new charges, she could face decades in prison.

Sarah Beth Petersen, meanwhile, now faces more than a dozen felony counts of taking responsibility for criminal acts and aiding an offender after attempting to deceive police for her sister’s benefit.

After reading about this tragic collision, learn about the deadly car crash that took Paul Walker’s life. Or, go inside the crimes of Eli Weaver, the “Amish Stud” who planned his wife’s murder with his mistress.

Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Cara Johnson
A writer and editor based in Charleston, South Carolina and an assistant editor at All That's Interesting, Cara Johnson holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Washington & Lee University and an M.A. in English from College of Charleston and has written for various publications in her six-year career.