01-17-19 Coloma girl dies in 2 car accident; VB sheriff suspects alcohol a factor

CELEBRATING SCHOOLEY… Watervliet Board of Education President Bill Spaulding presents former Watervliet Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Schooley with a plaque of appreciation Monday night during the district’s regular board meeting. Schooley accepted a superintendent’s position at South Haven Area Schools. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Police Reports

By Annette Christie

Coloma girl dies in 2-car accident

A 6-year-old Coloma girl is just one of the victims who passed away due to injuries received in a 2-car accident last Saturday, January 12, 2019.

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department responded to the accident located in the 60000 block of Red Arrow Highway in Hartford Township at approximately 2:35 p.m.

An off-duty patrol sergeant called in the crash and immediately began assisting the injured parties. First responders began arriving and assisting in life saving measures. The injured parties were transported to local hospitals by ambulance.

Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbot stated it appears that the driver of a 2007 White Chevy Equinox was traveling east bound and crossed the center line hitting a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee head on in the west bound lane.

The driver of the Jeep, a 73-year-old female from Paw Paw was deceased at the scene. The 6-year-old girl in the Chevy Equinox was transported to Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet where she succumbed to her injuries.

The driver of the Chevy Equinox, a 23-year-old male from Benton Harbor was transported to Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph in critical condition. Another passenger in that vehicle, a one-year-old male from Benton Harbor was transported to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo and is also in critical condition. A passenger in the Jeep Cherokee, a 57-year-old female from Paw Paw was transported to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo and is also in critical condition.

Abbot said that alcohol is believed to be a factor. The investigation will be forwarded to the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Driver of Bainbridge Township accident four times legal limit; not his first offense

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two-car accident on January 9 at approximately 5:26 p.m. in Bainbridge Township.

Emergency responders coming to the scene located at Napier Avenue and Arent Road discovered that a 2002 Nissan Sentra was traveling west on Napier near Arent when it crossed the center line and struck a 2000 GMC pickup truck. The truck operated by a 69-year-old Dowagiac man left the roadway and struck a utility pole, breaking it in half.

The driver of the pickup truck sustained serious injuries and was transported to the hospital for treatment. The driver of the 2002 Nissan Sentra, 43-year-old Dean A. Kietzer of Cassopolis, had to be extricated from the vehicle by the Sister Lakes Fire Department. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of several non-life threatening injuries.

Kietzer appeared to be intoxicated at the time of the crash and the investigation revealed that his blood alcohol level was almost four times the legal limit.

Criminal Charges of Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated, 3rd Offense and Operating a Motor Vehicle Causing Serious Injury were authorized by the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office and the Berrien County Trial Court.

Wife arrested; charged with plotting husband’s murder

Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic has announced that charges have been filed in the death of Benton Harbor nat