HARTFORD TOWNSHIP (WKZO) -- Four members of Keeler General Baptist church congregation are all dead after a slip and slide chain-reaction collision at an intersection just south of Hartford Saturday evening.
67-year-old driver Celeste Phillips, 56-year-old Lou Ann Holcomb and 51-year-old Church Pianist Charlotte Sieber, all from of Hartford, and the pastor’s wife, 56-year-old Kathryn Maya of Kalamazoo were all pronounced dead at the scene.
The four woman were returning from a dinner trip to Indiana when the collision occurred. All were wearing seatbelts.
Van Buren County deputies say a 26-year-old from Waterviliet, was headed eastbound on 66th Avenue and her van slid through the stop sign at County Road 687, striking the white Buick Lucerne that contained the four victims.
The Buick then slid over the centerline into the path of a northbound pick-up truck. Those two vehicles collided. It was all over in seconds.
The driver of the Pick-up, a 57-year-old man from Dowagiac was taken to the hospital for treatment of a severe hand and neck and back pain.
The two in the Van were not injured , but the driver’s name is not being released, pending the results of the investigation.
Toxicology and other tests are being conducted.