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U.S. 131 crash kills elderly couple in Kalamazoo County

Posted at 11:21 AM, May 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-08 16:31:42-04

SCHOOLCRAFT TOWNSHIP, Mich. — An elderly couple died when their car was hit on U.S. 131 near Schoolcraft in a crash involving both speed and alcohol on Friday.

At 2:52 p.m. Friday, Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post troopers responded to a report of a traffic accident with injuries on southbound 131 near WXY Avenue in Kalamazoo County. The investigation showed that an elderly couple were riding in a Chevrolet Impala eastbound on WXY Avenue and as they crossed the intersection of southbound U.S. 131 they were struck on the driver’s side by a Dodge Durango SUV.

The Impala's occupants were a married couple from Schoolcraft -- the driver was Joel Shaffer, 83, and the passenger was Dolores Shaffer, 84. Both died as a result of their injuries.

The SUV was driven by a 27-year-old man from Saginaw who suffered minor injuries. A passenger, a 24-year-old woman from Flint, sustained serious injuries. Both were transported to Bronson Hospital for treatment.

All four people involved in the crash were wearing seat belts.

Troopers said speed and alcohol were believed to be contributing factors to the crash. Once toxicology results are completed, a copy of the report will be forwarded to the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office for review of charges against the SUV's driver. His identity is being withheld at this time.

MSP troopers were assisted at the scene by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department, the Schoolcraft Police Department, Pride Care EMS, South County Fire/Rescue and the Michigan Department of Transportation.