The families of two Lagrange County residents are mourning after their loved ones were killed in an accident caused by a driver who police say was "operating while intoxicated."
Officials say 25-year-old Matthew Parish of Fort Wayne caused the chain-reaction crash at around 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning on State Road 5 in Shipshewana.
Parish survived, but two other drivers died in the accident -- 47-year-old Leslie Handshoe of Wolcottville and 66-year-old William Kaser of Cosperville.
Kaser's sister, Beverly Martin, received the news from the police early Sunday morning.
"I didn't get to tell him goodbye this morning," Beverly says.
Kaser was on his way to open up the Dollar General store where he worked when a car driven by Parish struck him from behind.
Skid marks remain at the site of the accident, pointing to where Kaser's vehicle was pushed into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
"You hope you wake up and he's going to be here, but he won't," Beverly says.
Bill Kaser lived across the street from his sister. She and her husband were Bill's closest family.
"He was over every day, several times a day or at night," Beverly says. "Me and my husband and my brother here, we were just his family, and that was the way it was with Bill. He'd have done anything he could for us."
The siblings have lived on the same block for most of their lives. Bill's body will be buried nearby as well; the Kaser family gravestone is just behind Bill's home.
"Even if he's close by, it still is not like having him coming in and out of my house," Beverly explains. "It's just not the same."
Kaser was alone in his car at the time of the accident. He died at the scene.
As for the car he hit after being struck, a 19-year-old woman was in the front passenger seat, and she suffered internal injuries and cuts, according to a police report.
The driver of that vehicle, Leslie Handshoe, died while being airlifted to the hospital.
His niece emailed us to say that Handshoe was a brother, a son, a husband, and a grandfather. She says he was on his way home after giving a ride to some people who didn't have access to a car.