Two people injured in six-vehicle crash

Published 7:23 pm Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Two county residents were injured on Monday, following a six-vehicle accident that occurred on M-51 during whiteout conditions.

Both 27-year-old Phillip Seitenstich, of Dowagiac, and 43-year-old Michele Leitch, of Decatur, were transported to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital after being extracted from their vehicles by officers with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, according to information released by the department.

Deputies with the sheriff’s office responded to reports of a multiple vehicle crash that occurred around 3:40 p.m. Monday afternoon, on M-51 near Elm Street in Silver Creek Township.

According to authorities, the accident occurred when a truck driven by Jennifer Laporte, 36, of Dowagiac, rear-ended a vehicle driven by Armando Cazares-Bautista, 43, also of Dowagiac, after he had slowed down for a plow truck while traveling south bound down the highway. His vehicle spun out due to the collision and was struck by a vehicle driven by Seitenstich, who was traveling northbound.

Seitenstich’s vehicle was also spun around, and was hit broadside by Leitch, whose vehicle also struck Bautista’s. Her vehicle was then hit by a vehicle driven by Robert Meece, 40, of South Bend.

In addition, a northbound vehicle driven by Cory Wright had swerved to avoid the pileup, running off the road and landing in a ditch in the process.

Authorities report that the injuries sustained to both Seitenstich and Leitch appeared to be non-life threatening. They also reported that all involved were wearing seatbelts at the time of accident, and that alcohol doesn’t appear to be a factor.

The deputies were assisted on scene by Dowagiac Police Department., Michigan State Police, Pokagon Tribal Police, Wayne Township Fire, Sisters Lakes Fire and Pride Care ambulance.