Family, Three Rivers community sadden by crash that injured fire chief, killed wife

Posted at 9:14 PM, May 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-06 21:15:05-04

THREE RIVERS, Mich. — These days, it’s hard for Ed English to talk about his friends Mike and Patricia Frye he said. He’s gets chocked up when he thinks about the crash  Saturday night.

“Disbelief, disbelief,” English said with tears in his eyes. “[I] couldn’t believe it. Tragedy. I’ve known Mike most of his life and I knew his wife forever. It hits pretty close to home.”

Local officials said Saturday around 7:30 p.m. the Fryes were on their motorcycles, stopped at a red light at the intersection of U.S. 131 and Broadway when a minivan hit them from behind. Patrica died and Mike was airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo.

“He’s in a coma, ‘cause he’s got swelling,” said English, president of the fire board. “They’re going to wake him up again maybe a couple three days.”

English said the family is grieving at this time and haven’t left Mike’s side. They released this statement to FOX 17:

“We would like to thank the community for your outstanding support. Unfortunately the loss of life is never easy for one family, but to lose one life to many families is hard to bear. Our thoughts go out to the FPFD who acted instinctively to help save the life of their Chief Mike Frye and to help preserve the life of our Mother Patricia Frye (Lakey). Also to the first responders that took over after FPFD was relieved of duty. Mike is in critical but stable condition and is medically sedated until further notice. Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the Frye Family, the members of the FPFD, victim services and the survivors of Patricia’s family.”

English echoed the family's sentiment, saying that people in the community were caring. The employees at Three Rivers Health, where Patricia worked for years, all expressed how much they loved her. Resident Edward Zack, who didnt know them, showed up at the fire station on Monday to donate money and show his support.

“I came over here to give my condolences to the firefighters because it's a huge loss needless to say,” he said. “The people are a tight knit community. Everybody feels the loss.”