Driver Identified in December Fatal Crash in Allegan County

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HOPKINS TOWNSHIP, MI –  On Wednesday, December 16th, 2015, at approximately 6:30PM, Allegan Central Dispatch received a call of a serious crash at the intersection of 130th Ave. and 22nd St in Hopkins Township. 

Deputies arrived on scene and found a two vehicle crash involving a pickup truck and a passenger car.  The passenger car had suffered severe front end damage and the engine area was on fire.  The female driver of the car, Catherine Gertrude Bender, 46-years-old, was removed from the vehicle and the fire was extinguished by Hopkins Fire Dept.  Bender was treated at the scene for moderate injuries and transported via Aeromed helicopter to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital.

The driver of the pickup truck, John Jerome Dolegowski, 58-years-old, of the Allegena area, was ejected from his vehicle and was found to have severe injuries.  He was transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital by Wayland EMS where he died from his injuries a short time later.

The driver of the passenger car, Catherine Gertrude Bender, was wearing a seatbelt and the initial investigation shows that she failed to stop for a stop sign heading westbound on 130th Ave. and drove into the path of the southbound pickup truck traveling on 22nd St.  The driver of the pickup truck was not wearing his seatbelt.

Bender has been arraigned on a charge of DWLS Causing Death on Monday, January 11th, 2016.  The registered owner of the vehicle will be arraigned on the afternoon of Monday, January 25th, 2016 and her name will be released after her arraignment.

The sheriff’s office was assisted at the scene by Hopkins Fire Dept., Wayland EMS, Aeromed and the Michigan State Police.

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