Sturgis man dies in crash

A three-car crash Friday claimed the life of a 63-year-old Sturgis man.
Deputies from the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department said a semi driven by David Hartman, 52, of Indiana, was eastbound on M-86 near Farrand Road in Colon Township.
Hartman’s truck had slowed to turn left into a parking lot of Palomino Trailer around 11:15 a.m.
A van driven by Paul Alber, 63, of Sturgis, was slowing behind the semi when his vehicle was struck from behind by a pickup driven by David Phillips, 32, of Brooklyn.
Alber’s van was pushed into the rear of the semi.
Despite the efforts of Palomino employees and rescue personnel, Alber was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in his van, Mary Bontrager, 48, of Colon, and Phillips were both hospitalized, according to authorities.
M-86 was closed for more than five hours while the crash was investigated.

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