Dowagiac teacher dies in three-vehicle crash

Vehicle 1 Vehicle 2 Semi-truck
HOWARD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Deputies responded to reports of a three-vehicle injury crash involving two passenger vehicles and a semi-truck on Friday at 5:26 p.m. on M-60 Highway and Anderson Road, according to the Cass County Sheriff's Office.

Officials say that 41-year-old Mishawaka resident, Sarah Proctor, was pulling to a stop in the roadway of M-60 Highway to turn onto Anderson Road when a 34-year-old Dowagiac resident crashed into the rear end of Proctor's vehicle while headed southwest on M-60.

As a result of the initial crash, Proctor's vehicle was pushed into the northeast lane of traffic and struck by a semi-truck traveling northeast on M-60 Highway.

Proctor was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS.

The vehicle that crashed into Proctors continued off of the roadway after the collision and rolled onto its side, according to deputies. 

The vehicle contained three passengers, all of which were taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital by ambulance for injuries sustained in the crash.

The situation remains under investigation.

Proctor was a second-grade teacher with Dowagiac Union Schools.

Superintendent Jonathan Whan sent a letter home to families, saying in part:

"I write this message with a heavy heart and deep sadness. We learned that last night, one of our second-grade teachers, Sarah Proctor, was involved in a traffic car accident where she lost her life. We do not have any more details beyond what has been shared by the sheriff's department, but please take a moment to remember her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers this morning."

Superintendent Whan said the district's crisis team has been activated and will be available at Justus Gage Elementary School on Monday.

Grief counselors are also available.  

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