Mother, son killed in crash in Van Buren County

Updated: Friday, August 29, 2014
Mother, son killed in crash in Van Buren County story image

HARTFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A crash Thursday morning in Van Buren County has left a mother and son dead.

It happened on Red Arrow Highway near 70th Street in Hartford Township, just east of Four Winds Casino, around 10:30 a.m., closing the road for several hours.

Right now, there are still more questions than answers, as State Police and the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office work to piece it all together.

One woman, who saw it all happen and rushed to help, has been able to offer a few clues.

"It sounded like a big boom, the two cars hit and you heard 'boom,'" said eyewitness Taqela Broyles.

She tells Newschannel 3 that she was standing in the window of her Hartford home, when she saw one car hit another head-on.

"He swerved and then hit them head-on first, and spun their car around," Broyles said.

Broyles said a red Escape, which police say was driven by a 70-year-old Hartford man, crossed the center line, hitting a Watervliet mother and son at full speed, despite their warning.

"He was coming full speed, the car was honking at them in their lane, and he just hit them," Broyles said.

Broyles rushed to help the three victims, all trapped in their cars, including a 91-year-old woman struggling to breathe.

"At first her pulse came back small, and then we lost it," Broyles said.

The woman passed away on-scene. Her 66-year-old son was rushed to a St. Joseph hospital, but did not survive.

The driver of the Escape remains in stable condition.

"We don't know at this point who is at fault, we don't know which way the vehicle was heading, we have reconstructionists coming out," said Michigan State Police Sergeant Rusty Ernstes, while on the scene.

State Police tell Newschannel 3 the area is quiet, and they haven't had issues here in years.

They're now trying to figure out who is at fault and why this happened.

"We don't know if alcohol or speed was a factor, we are in the very early stages of this," Sgt. Ernstes said.

State Police are still working to notify the victim's family.

They planned on interviewing the driver of the Escape this afternoon.

State Police are still looking for information, and are asking any witnesses to contact the post in Paw Paw right away.

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