Woman to jail for 2013 wreck that killed 4

Van Buren County sheriff's deputies on the scene of a quadruple-fatal crash at the intersection of County Road 687 and 66th Avenue in Hartford Township. (Feb. 16, 2013)
Van Buren County sheriff's deputies on the scene of a quadruple-fatal crash at the intersection of County Road 687 and 66th Avenue in Hartford Township. (Feb. 16, 2013)

PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman who caused a crash that left four people dead in Van Buren County last winter will spend time in jail.

Ashley Baker, 27, was sentenced to one year in jail with credit for one day served and five years probation. She must also pay $2,373 in costs and fees, according to the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office.

On Feb. 16, 2013, Baker did not stop her van at the intersection of County Road 687 and 66th Avenue in Hartford Township. Her van collided with a Buick, which was pushed into the path of a truck.

Four people in the Buick — Celeste Phillips, 67, of Hartford; Kathryn Maya, 56, of Kalamazoo; Lou Anne Holcomb, 56, of Hartford; and Charlotte Sieber, 51, of Hartford — were pronounced dead at the scene. They were members of Keeler Baptist Church and returning home from a restaurant in Indiana. They were about a mile from their destination.

Baker, of Watervliet, was originally charged with four felony counts of driving under the influence of marijuana causing death.

She said the crash was the fault of icy roads. At trial, the jury deadlocked. Baker then took a plea deal from the prosecutor, which dropped all but one of the counts against her.

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