Woman Charged In Car Crash That Killed 4 In Van Buren County

Posted at 6:09 PM, Apr 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-26 18:20:20-04

BakerVAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich.– 26-Year-Old Ashley Nicole Baker has been charged with 4-counts of operating while under the influence of drugs causing death.  The 26-year-old Watervleit woman  was involved in the traffic crash that killed four women back in Febuary in Hartford Township.

Baker was arrested at her home on Friday without incident and lodged in the Van Buren County Jail.  Baker was arraigned in the South Haven District Court where her bond was set at $25,000 (10%).   These charges carry up to 15 years in prison and/or $2,500-$10,000 in fines.

The crash happened at County Road 687 and 66th Avenue in Van Buren County, just south of the city of Hartford. Upon arriving at the scene, deputies and EMS workers located three vehicles involved in the crash.  Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office deputies then found that four women, all in the same vehicle –a 2011 Buick Lucerne — who had died at the scene.

The four were identified as Celeste Phillips, 67, of Hartford, the driver; Kathryn Maya, 56, of Kalamazoo, a front seat passenger; Lou Ann Holcomb, 56, of Hartford, a back seat passenger; and Charlotte Sieber, 51, of Hartford, another back-seat passenger. All were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.