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Vehicle crashes claim two lives

Separate accidents fatal for U.P. residents

August 29, 2011
Daily Press

Two people died in separate auto accidents in the western Upper Peninsula Saturday and early today, according to news releases from the sheriff's departments in Iron and Houghton counties. A passenger in one of the accidents was listed in serious condition this morning.

In Houghton County, a 22-year-old Houghton man was pronounced dead at the scene following a one-vehicle rollover in Stanton Township at 12:40 this morning, said deputies. The vehicle was traveling on Coles Creek Road, near Harma Road, when the 1997 Ford Taurus rolled and trapped the sole occupant inside, said deputies.

The name of the driver is being withheld pending investigation and notification of family members.

Assisting at the scene were Houghton City Police, Stanton Township Fire and First Responders, Hurontown Fire Department, and Mercy Ambulance.

On Saturday afternoon, an Iron River woman died from injuries she received in a two-vehicle accident in Iron River Township, according to a news release from the Iron County Sheriff's Department.

Winifred Darlene Vassar, 70, was exiting a private driveway, attempting to turn onto U.S. 2, when her Chevrolet Lumina was hit broadside by a Ford Windstar Van at 12:36 p.m. The accident occurred about one mile west of M-73.

Vassar and two passengers in her vehicle - Kyle Decorah and Ward Vassar, both of Iron River - were all transported by North Star Ambulance to North Star Hospital & Health Systems in Iron River. Upon arrival at the hospital, Winifred Vassar died from her injuries.

Decorah was later transferred to Marquette General Hospital where he was listed in serious condition this morning, according to a hospital spokesperson. Ward Vassar was treated and released from North Star Hospital.

Winifred Vassar and her two passengers were on their way to a local vegetable stand when the accident occurred, said deputies.

The driver of the second vehicle - Ronald Robert Stafford, of Iron River Township - and his six passengers were all treated and released at the hospital.

Stafford and his passengers were on their way to work at the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Gogebic County when the crash occurred, according to the news release.

The sheriff's department was assisted at the scene by the Iron River Police Department, Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, West Iron County Fire Department, and the Iron County Road Commission.



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