HopCat server, mother killed in accident, mourned by community

Posted at 11:21 PM, Oct 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-26 23:58:40-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A mother in Ottawa County was killed in a car crash early Sunday morning.

Renee Stanford, 42 of Hudsonville, was killed when a vehicle hit her car, after she did not yield at the intersection of 32nd Avenue and Riley Street in Jamestown Township, deputies said.

Stanford was a server at HopCat in Grand Rapids for the last three and a half years. Mark Sellers of BarFly Ventures said she was well-known and loved by her community.

“There`s a lot of sad faces at HopCat,” said Sellers. “It’s been a really tough day. My eyes are a little puffy because I was crying earlier, it`s just been really rough for us.”

A mother of three and a very new and proud grandmother, Stanford was excited and often showed customers pictures of her family, Sellers said. Stanford she was a personable server who had regular customers, customers who followed her to HopCat when she began working there, he added.

“She was a very new grandmother, and she was so excited about it,” said Sellers. “She posted on Facebook about it, she had pictures that she showed everybody, and that’s what she would do, she would talk to customers about her family.”

Sellers told FOX 17 he and BarFly will be working to help Stanford's family, and plan to provide all of the food the family needs for the time being.

As for the driver in that other vehicle, deputies said he was taken to the hospital but is expected to recover.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is investigating this crash.