The name of a third person who died in a three-vehicle accident in Elkhart County Friday night has been released.
85-year-old Virginia Miller of Elkhart was one of three women killed in the crash.
Pamela Beemer, Maxine Sailor and Miller were declared dead at the scene. Pam’s husband, Bob, and Maxine’s husband, Ernie, were both transported to the hospital. Bob’s since been released. Neighbors say they were all heading home from having dinner in Middlebury.
The accident happened at U.S. 20 and County Road 31 in Elkhart County around 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Two cars and a semi were involved. Investigators say Ernie Sailor’s car was struck by a semi heading east and then hit again by the car driving behind the semi. Police continue to investigate and are trying to determine who’s at fault.
But, either way, those who know the women involved say they’ll be dearly missed. Nancy Chandler lives across the street from the Sailors and says she saw Maxine almost everyday.
“Every time we’d come out she’d be over in her kitchen window,” said Chandler. “She’d say ‘I’m not a busy body, I’m just looking out my window doing my dishes. But, I heard this, and this, and this.’”
But now Maxine’s window is empty and neighbors’ hearts are full of grief. Maxine and Pamela live next door to each other, making the loss especially difficult for those who knew them.
“It’s just been a hard thing at the end of our cul-de-sac to lose two of our people at the same time,” Chandler said. “It’s been very sad.”
Chandler says both women were wonderful wives and friends. Pam, although newer to the neighborhood, was always friendly.
“She was energetic, she was into her church, she worked hard,” Chandler said.
Maxine and Ernie Sailor were Chandler’s best friends on the block. They’d lived in the neighborhood for over 30 years and acted like a second set of parents for Chandler.
“We’re really going to miss Maxine,” Chandler said. “She was very sweet. They were a really cute older couple, they've been married 61 or 62 years and they used to pick at each other. We'd get the biggest kick out of them because it'd just show how much time they spent together.”
Chandler said Maxine was also attached at the hip with Virginia Miller.
While Pam’s family didn’t want to go on camera, they did tell NewsCenter 16 it would take a month in order to run through the list of all the good things about the ladies.
“It’s going to be very different, very different,” Chandler said.
Ernie remains in the hospital with a broken hip. He’s scheduled to have surgery Sunday morning. Once he comes home, neighbors plan to give him plenty of support.
“He was always giving to somebody else, always going out and doing things for somebody else,” Chandler said. “So now I know people will go out and give back to him now that he needs it.”