4 Killed In Deadly Crash In Van Buren County

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich.– Four people died in a three-vehicle crash in Hartford Township on Saturday evening.

The crash happened at County Road 687 and 66th Avenue in Van Buren County, just south of the city of Hartford, at 6:10 p.m. Upon arriving at the scene, deputies and EMS workers located three vehicles involved in the crash.  Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office deputies then found that four women, all in the same vehicle –a 2011 Buick Lucerne — who had died at the scene.

The four were identified as Celeste Phillips, 67, of Hartford, the driver; Kathryn Maya, 56, of Kalamazoo, a front seat passenger; Lou Ann Holcomb, 56, of Hartford, a back seat passenger; and Charlotte Sieber, 51, of Hartford, another back-seat passenger. All were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Deputies also discovered that the driver and sole occupant in a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck – Thomas Stewart, 57, of Dowagiac — that was involved in the crash had sustained a severe hand injury along with back and neck pain.

The driver and a passenger in the third vehicle — a 1997 Dodge Caravan — were not injured.

Medical staff from Pride Care EMS and the Hartford Fire Department then began to treat the driver of the pickup truck and then began to gain access to the heavily damaged Buick Lucerne.

A preliminary investigation found that the driver of the Dodge Caravan was traveling eastbound on 66th Avenue when she attempted to stop at the intersection at County Road 687.  The driver was unable to stop prior to entering the intersection and struck the Buick Lucerne, which was southbound on County Road 687.  After being hit, the Lucerne then began to spin on the icy roadway directly into the path of the Chevrolet Silverado.  After being struck, the Lucerne and the  Silverado then came to rest in the middle of County Road 687.

While notifying the families of the victims of the crash, it was found that the four who died were returning home from a dinner outing in Indiana.  The four victims all attended the same church in Keeler. Mich.

The investigation is still ongoing and once completed will be forwarded to the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office for review.  The exact cause of deaths and the complete factors of the crash have yet to be determined.

Several of the vehicles involved were severely mangled in the wreckage.

The roads were cleared around 9 p.m.


13 Comments to “4 Killed In Deadly Crash In Van Buren County”

    Jeff said:
    February 16, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Is this related to the Amtrac/car crash 9 miles south of Bangor?

      Gina said:
      February 16, 2013 at 8:56 PM

      Thats what I'm hearing

        Ernestine Bachman said:
        February 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        No, this is a 3 car accident on 687 and 66th Street.

          Ernestine Bachman said:
          February 16, 2013 at 9:01 PM

          that should be 66th Avenue and CR 687, south of Hartford

            Gina said:
            February 16, 2013 at 9:14 PM

            Then there is two accident sites as my cousin is looking at lights right now at the tracks :-(

            Kathy said:
            February 17, 2013 at 12:27 AM

            Yes two different accidents. One on 65th St. and the other on 66th and CR 687. Four people killed on CR 687.

    Julie Sweet said:
    February 16, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Hopefully the news WON’T publish pictures as family members probably haven’t been notified. It would be horrible to see your loved ones vehicle plastered on the news.

    Leanne White said:
    February 16, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    65th street crossing was the train/car accident

      Robin najacht said:
      February 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      Sadly I know two of hose ppl , I feel saddened for the families

        jennifer said:
        February 17, 2013 at 2:04 AM

        I just cry for the families. It is my husband's cousin's family and her friends that were in the Buick. Horribly tragic.

    marieannguinto said:
    February 17, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    who is the reporter of these article?

      cheryl said:
      February 17, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      Lindsay Kus

    cheryl said:
    February 17, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    people need to read the full article before they ask stupid questions

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