NEW BUFFALO — A passenger died following a Saturday, May 11, fatal car crash in New Buffalo Township.

Berrien County Sheriff patrol officers were called to an accident around 4 p.m. on M-239, just south of Wilson Road in the Township. Once there, officers determined a Honda CRV crossed the centerline of M-239 and struck two oncoming vehicles.

The first vehicle that was hit, a Nissan Rogue, had minor damage and there were no injuries in the vehicle.

The second vehicle, a Toyota Sequoia, was struck head on. Both the CRV and the Sequoia had heavy front-end damage.

Police said the driver of the Honda CRV was Sabrina Stewart, 21, of LaPorte, Ind., and the driver of the Toyota Sequoia was Jose Flores, 40, of Elkhart, Ind.

Stewart and Flores were both reported in stable condition and being treated for injuries following the crash.

There were four passengers in the Toyota Sequoia. One passenger, identified on May 15 as Raymundo Sanchez, 18, of Elkhart, Ind., died from their injuries, and three others were initially listed in critical condition.

Police reported on May 15 that passengers Maria Ontiveros-Vazquez, 61, Elkhart, and her daughter, Mayra Salazar-Ontiveros, 37, Elkhart, had improved to stable condition, while Jose Salazar, 62, of Elkhart (Maria Ontiveros-Vazquez’ husband) remained in critical condition. Raymundo Sanchez is the grandson of Maria Ontiveros-Vazquez and Jose Salazar.

The New Buffalo Township Fire Department assisted with extrication of victims from the Toyota Sequoia. All injured were taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Accident Investigation Team was called to the scene and are assisting with the investigation. Pokagon Tribal Police, New Buffalo City Police, the Michiana Police Department, Medic 1 Ambulance, Three Oaks Ambulance and Laporte County EMS also assisted on scene.

Two hurt in Bridgman crash

BRIDGMAN — Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers responded to a May 11 car crash that left a driver and passenger with serious injuries. Police were called to a car crash at 10:15 p.m. on Saturday along Red Arrow Highway, just south of Linco Road in Lake Township.

Police determined a pickup truck was traveling southbound on Red Arrow Highway in the left lane when it was hit by a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis. The Grand Marquis was also traveling southbound on Red Arrow Highway at a high rate of speed and attempted to pass the pickup truck by crossing the center lane into the northbound lanes.

The Grand Marquis clipped the left rear of the pickup truck, crossed both lanes of the northbound lanes, went off the roadway and struck several trees. Police said that both the driver and passenger of the Grand Marquis were entrapped in their vehicle. After the driver and passenger were freed, they were transported to Spectrum Health Lakeland Hospital. The driver sustained life-threatening injuries and the passenger suffered serious injuries.

Police reported that the driver of the Grand Marquis is a 38-year-old woman from Bridgman. The passenger is a 35-year-old man from Benton Harbor.

MSP suspect alcohol was a cause of the crash. Seatbelt use is unknown, but the crash remains under investigation.

The occupants of the pickup truck – who are Stevensville residents – did not sustain any injuries and incurred minor damage to the vehicle.

MSP was assisted by the Lincoln Township Police Department, Baroda-Lake Police Department and the Baroda-Lake Fire Department.

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