Indiana man dies in Ontwa Township crash

Published 1:29 pm Thursday, October 27, 2022

ONTWA TOWNSHIP — An Indiana man was killed and two people were injured in a two-vehicle Ontwa Township crash Wednesday afternoon.

Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Chief Douglas Westrick reports that on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, at approximately 4:02 p.m., his department responded to a crash on US 12 near Island Drive in Ontwa Township. Officers arrived on scene to find two vehicles with heavy front end damage and multiple victims with injuries.

Initial investigation determined that Ariel Villa, 27, of Nappanee, Indiana, was traveling westbound on US 12 when his vehicle entered the eastbound lane. Villa’s vehicle struck another vehicle head on driven by Jesse Phipps, 28, of Elkhart. Passengers in Phipps’ vehicle were Brittanie Thammavongsa, 31, of Elkhart and David Green, 34, of Dallas, Texas. 

Green was located in the ditch outside of the vehicle. All other occupants were entrapped in their vehicles with heavy front end damage. The Edwardsburg Fire Department and Clay Fire Rescue extricated the victims from the vehicles. The Edwardsburg Ambulance and SMCAS Ambulance transported two individuals to the hospital. MedFlight transported a patient to South Bend Memorial Hospital. Villa succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

The Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Department was assisted on scene by the Edwardsburg Fire Department, Edwardsburg Ambulance Service, Clay Fire & Rescue, SEPSA Fire & Ambulance, SMCAS Ambulance Service, Michigan State Police, MedFlight of South Bend, Cass County Central Dispatch, MDOT and the Cass County Road Commission. The crash remains under investigation. 

Anyone with information about this incident or any other crime is urged to contact the Ontwa Township – Edwardsburg Police Department at (269) 663-8444.