Family Remembers Hartford Car Crash Victims

Posted at 6:22 PM, Feb 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-18 07:27:00-05

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich– Vernon Holcomb says he still remembers the last time he talked to his wife.

“It was sometime after six,” he said. “Lou Ann had called me and told me they were leaving Indiana and that they’d be home in a little bit.”

Lou Ann Holcomb, 56, was one of four woman who were killed in a car accident Saturday evening on their way home for a dinner in Indiana.  Kathryn Maya, 56, Celeste Phillips, 67, and Charlotte Sieber, 51, were also in the car with her. All of them died at the scene.

Vernon said he realized something was wrong when his wife didn’t pick up her phone.

“She was a little late, so I tried calling her and her phone rang,” he said. “But all I did was get her answering machine. Then the police came to the door, and I knew something bad had happened.”

The accident happened on County Road 687 and 66th Avenue in Hartford, according to Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office. The car the ladies were driving in was hit when the driver of a Dodge Caravan was unable to stop at the intersection. That sent the ladies’ vehicle spinning into the path of a pickup truck.

“They are in non-belief,” said Efrain Maya, pastor of General Baptist Church in Keeler, whose wife, Kathryn died in the crash. Efrain knew the other three women, because they were all very active with the church.

The tragedy has raised questions, said Maya, “questions like you hear a lot like, why would God let something like this happen.

“It kind of makes us take a look at our lives and the things that we do. We are not looking at the temporal things, we are looking at eternal. The bases that we do a thing to glorify God and help others and listen to the knowledge of what the kingdom of God is.”

Holcomb and Maya both say they know their wives are in a better place. “She’s with God right now, she’s home and just keep on remembering her prayers,” Holcomb said.

Even after learning the news about this wife, Efrain still managed to preach at Sunday morning service.

The Van Buren Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the crash to find out exactly what caused the accident.