South Bend, Chicago residents injured in Pokagon Township crash

Published 8:53 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

POKAGON TOWNSHIP — Men from South Bend and Chicago were injured Wednesday evening in a Pokagon Township crash, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Richard Behnke reported that his deputies investigated a crash that occurred on M-51 near Pokagon Highway in Pokagon Township at 7:42 p.m. Wednesday.

The deputies stated that a vehicle driven by Marcus Long, 20, of South Bend, with passenger Kenny Valme, 20, of Chicago, was approaching the intersection on Pokagon Highway in a Lexus ES350 when he ran the stop sign to go north on M-51. Eric Blevins, 34, of Niles, and his passenger, Raemarie Bailey, 33, of Niles, were southbound on M-51 in a Dodge Durango. They could not avoid the Lexus, and they hit head-on.

Long had to be extricated from the vehicle by the Pokagon Township Fire Department and was transported to Beacon Hospital in South Bend for his injuries by SMACS Ambulance. The passenger, Valme, was also transported to Beacon Hospital in South Bend for his injuries by SMACS Ambulance.

Alcohol use does not appear to be a factor in the crash, and airbags did deploy in both vehicles, deputies said.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by the Pokagon Tribal Police Department, Pokagon Township Fire Department and SMCAS Ambulance service. The crash remains under investigation at this time.