Fatal Accident in New Buffalo Township


TYPE OF INCIDENT:  Fatal Accident                    


LOCATION OF INCIDENT:    M239 just south of Wilson Rd

                                      New Buffalo Township


AGENCIES INVOLVED:  Berrien County Sheriff New Buffalo Twp Patrol

                                                Pokagon Tribal Police

                                                New Buffalo City Police Dept

                                                Michiana Police Dept

                                                New Buffalo Township Fire Dept.

                                                Medic 1 Ambulance

                                                Three Oaks Ambulance

                                                Laporte County EMS  


ARRESTED PERSONS:  None at this time     

NARRATIVE:     Officers were called to an injury accident on M239 just south of Wilson Rd in New Buffalo Township.  Officers found that a Honda CRV crossed the centerline of M239 and struck two vehicles.  The first vehicle that was struck, a Nissan Rogue, had minor damage and there were no injuries in this vehicle.  The second vehicle, a Toyota Sequoia, was struck head on.  Both the CRV and the Sequoia had heavy front end damage.

The driver of the Honda CRV was Sabrina Stewart, 21, of LaPorte, IN.  The driver of the Toyota Sequoia was Jose Flores, 40, of Elkhart, IN.  Stewart and Flores are both stable and being treated for injuries.  There were four passengers in the Toyota Sequoia.  One passenger has died from his injuries, and three others are in critical condition.  Name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of the family. 

The New Buffalo Township Fire Department assisted with extrication of victims from the Toyota Sequoia.  All injured were taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, IN.  The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Accident Investigation Team was called to the scene and are assisting with the investigation.   This accident is still under investigation at this time.


**********Updated 5-15-19


The deceased passenger from the Toyota Sequoia has been identified as Raymundo Sanchez, 18, of Elkhart, IN.  Passengers Maria Ontiveros-Vazquez, 61, Elkhart, and her daughter, Mayra Salazar-Ontiveros, 37, Elkhart, have improved to stable condition.  Jose Salazar, 62, of Elkhart (Maria Ontiveros-Vazquez’ husband) remains in critical condition.   Raymundo Sanchez is the grandson of Maria Ontiveros-Vazquez and Jose Salazar.

This crash remains under investigation by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.

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