UPDATE: Names released in Hartford Twp. fatal crash

By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email
Four women died Saturday evening after a multiple-vehicle crash in Hartford Township.

Top left to right: Celeste Phillips and Kathy Maya. Bottom left to right: Charlotte Sieber and Lou Anne Holcomb. (Feb. 17, 2013)

Four women were killed in a multiple-vehicle crash Saturday evening in Hartford Twp.

According to WOOD-TV, at around 6 p.m. ambulances and emergency personnel were called to the scene of a three vehicle crash on CR 687, commonly referred to as 64th St., near the intersection of 66th Ave.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a minivan traveling eastbound on 66th Ave. drove through a stop sign and struck a white Buick heading south on CR 687. Authorities say the Buick was pushed over the center line and into the path of a Chevrolet pickup truck going in the opposite direction.

While the driver of the van was not injured, four people inside the Buick were pronounced dead at the scene.

67-year old Celeste Phillips from Hartford, Michigan, was driving. 56-year-old Kathryn Maya from Kalamazoo, 56-year-old Lou Ann Holcomb from Hartford, and 51-year-old Charlotte Sieber from Hartford were passengers. All were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

The women were members of the Keeler Baptist Church, 40 miles west of Kalamazoo. Kathryn Maya was the wife of the pastor of the church.

The group was on their way home from a dinner trip.
Deputies at the crash site checked the driver in the Chevrolet pickup truck, Thomas Stewart, 57 from Dowagiac, and found he sustained a severe hand injury and was suffering from pain in his back and neck.

Police have not released the name of the woman driving the minivan, although they have said she is a 26-year-old woman from Watervliet, and both she and her passenger, Amber Cummings, 26, from Coloma were not injured.

The investigation is still awaiting further investigation and toxicology results, officers say all people involved were wearing seat belts.

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