Neighbors calling for change after 3 children hurt in St. Joseph County crash

Published: Jul. 10, 2022 at 10:57 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Neighbors are hoping safety improvements will be made to an intersection that’s seen two serious crashes in the last two weeks.

Around 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, officials say three children suffered serious injuries in a two-vehicle collision at the corner of State Road 2 and Quince Road.

Officials say a 20-year-old Illinois man was driving an SUV west on State Road 2 and a 32-year-old South Bend woman was driving a Sedan south on Quince Road at the time of the crash. Their vehicles collided as the Sedan was turning east onto State Road 2.

“I heard the screech and the hit. And it was pretty devastating. Because you, you know, it wasn’t gonna be good,” recalled neighbor Clem Litka.

The driver of the Sedan was not injured, neither was a 21-year-old passenger in her car. However, three children who were also passengers in the vehicle suffered serious injuries.

A 13-year-old suffered a broken femur, a 2-year-old suffered possible internal bleeding and a head injury, and a 5-year-old suffered a brain bleed. All three were taken to a local hospital, but the 5-year-old had to be flown to a hospital in Indianapolis. Police say the two young children were not in car seats.

Litka, who lives on Quince Road, said about 15 years ago, he was hit trying to cross State Road 2 when he got hit.

“A car from the passing lane on that same lane, just blew the light,” he said.

Fellow neighbors are also fearful of the intersection—the scene of a deadly crash in late June, when a Rolling Prairie woman was rear-ended by a garbage truck.

“I have to pass my driveway up because they won’t slow down behind me. Even if I do have my blinkers on, they won’t slow down behind me,” stated Joe Bokon, who lives on State Road 2.

Quince Road resident Michael Kauffman said the accidents give his good neighborhood a bad reputation.

“I think there needs to be more lights to slow people down. And there needs to be turnarounds,” suggested Kauffman.

16 News Now caught two drivers running through red lights on Monday.

“I’m really sorry that it takes tragedies to get this attention. So hopefully we can get a solution and the people that are in charge can make a decision and get this issue fixed,” Litka said.

Police said the driver of the SUV was not injured. Both drivers were cooperative, and impairment did not appear to be a factor. Toxicology reports are pending.

The crash remains under investigation by the St. Joseph County Fatal Crash Team (FACT).


ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - FACT is investigating a two-vehicle crash in St. Joseph County.

It happened Sunday evening at the intersection of State Road 2 and Quince Road—right in front of the Phillips 66 gas station—involving a Sedan and an SUV.

The Sedan’s airbags were deployed, while the SUV crashed into a backyard of a nearby residence.

Three passengers in the Sedan, all minors, were hurt in the crash. Police say a 5-year-old has life-threatening injuries, and a 13-year-old and 2-year-old suffered serious injuries. Meanwhile, two adults in the Sedan were not hurt.

The driver of the SUV was not injured.

Stay with 16 News Now both on-air and online as we continue to follow this developing story.

Copyright 2022 WNDU. All rights reserved.

Latest News

Latest News