Father Otto hit by car

Published 1:33 am Wednesday, September 12, 2007

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The Rev. David Otto, who came to Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Niles as pastor in June of 2006, was hit by a car while riding his bicycle on Sunday at the corner of Platt and Christiana streets in Niles.
He is recovering after surgery at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Monday evening, according to Cheryl Ralston, his secretary at Saint Mary's Church.
According to Bobbie Applegren at the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo, surgery was on his back for two cracked vertebra and he was released from intensive care on Tuesday.
No estimates have been made on how long his recovery will take or when he will be released, she added.
Father Otto came to Niles after serving the parish of Our Lady of the Lake in Edwardsburg for 18 years, where he was often seen riding his bike around the lakes. He claimed to have chalked up 20,000 miles while in Edwardsburg.
For the priest, it was a homecoming, as his parents, Florian and Frances Otto, live in Niles. His parents moved to Niles when David was two. Fifty years ago, he attended St. Mary's grade school. Now he has the additional administrative challenges of overseeing its operation, along with church duties.
Michigan State Police would not release any information concerning the accident.