HARTFORD — Counselors and social workers will be on hand this morning at Coloma Elementary School to help students process the Saturday death of one of their classmates.
A 6-year-old Coloma girl, who was a first-grader at Coloma Elementary, was one of two people killed in a head-on collision at 2:35 p.m. between two cars on Red Arrow Highway in Hartford Township, according to a press release from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.
The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office reported that the girl was taken to Lakeland Hospital in Watervliet, where she died.
When contacted Sunday afternoon, Coloma Elementary Principal John Klein stated that Coloma Superintendent Dave Ehlers and several principals met Sunday morning to coordinate the district’s Crisis Response Team.
“It’s such a sad thing. My heart breaks for the family,” Klein said.
Besides counselors and social workers, he said district administrators will be at the elementary school to help where needed.
Also killed was a 73-year-old Paw Paw woman, according to the press release. Three other people were taken to area hospitals and are listed in critical condition.
The Coloma girl was in a 2007 white Chevy Equinox being driven by a 23-year-old Benton Harbor man, who was taken to Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph. Also in the car was a 1-year-old male, who was taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.
The Paw Paw woman was driving a 2007 black Jeep Grand Cherokee. She was pronounced dead at the scene, stated the press release.
Her passenger, a 57-year-old woman from Paw Paw, was taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital.
Deputies reported that it appears that the Benton Harbor man, who was traveling eastbound, crossed the center line, hitting the other vehicle, which was westbound. Alcohol is believed to be a factor.
On Sunday, Van Buren County Sgt. Casey Davis said the names of the people involved in the accident will be released after family members are notified. He said the investigation will be given to the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office to review if there will be any charges related to the crash.
Deputies responded to the crash after an off-duty patrol sergeant called it in and started helping the injured people.
The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Michigan State Police, Hartford Fire Department and Pride Care EMS.
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