2018-06-14 / Local News

Suttons Bay woman dies in crash


AN 81-YEAR-OLD woman died when the vehicle in which she was riding veered off M-22 south of Suttons Bay and crashed into a group of trees. AN 81-YEAR-OLD woman died when the vehicle in which she was riding veered off M-22 south of Suttons Bay and crashed into a group of trees. A medical condition could have caused an accident that killed an 81-yearold Suttons Bay woman Tuesday.

Karol A. Butler was a passenger in a northbound vehicle that veered into the opposite lane, left the roadway and struck a tree. The vehicle was driven by her 82-year-old husband, Tom.

“At this point we’re thinking it could be medical related,” Sheriff Mike Borkovich said.

Deputies and rescue personnel were dispatched to the crash at M-22 and Murray Court at 2:35 p.m. Upon arrival, deputies located a 2004 silver Dodge Durango, and found bystanders performing CPR on Mrs. Butler.

Mr. Butler was still in the car suffering from serious injuries.

The couple was transported to Munson Medical Center where Mrs. Butler was pronounced dead on arrival.

Mr. Butler remains at Munson in intensive care.

Traffic was rerouted between Revold and McAllister roads while accident reconstructionists were on the scene.

The initial investigation determined that the Butler car crossed over the northbound lane, narrowly missing a southbound vehicle, left the roadway and became airborne before striking an embankment and then a tree.

Both the Butlers wore seatbelts and airbags deployed.

There was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident, which remains under investigation.

“Out hearts go out to this family,” Borkovich said.

Karol Butler is a retired staff member of Suttons Bay School and remembered fondly by her former co-workers.

“Before I moved here, she would bring my mother-in-law, Ruth Christensen, to church every Sunday,” a Nanagosa Trail neighbor and fellow Suttons Bay retiree Sarah Christensen said. “She was just so sweet and friendly.”

County Clerk Michelle Crocker knew Mrs. Butler from both Suttons Bay School and Immanuel Lutheran Church, where they are both members.

“I’ve known her since I was 9-years-old, my parents have known her forever,” Crocker said. “She worked at the school when I was in elementary and she was always a great comfort to kids, always willing to help and she always had a smile on her face.”

Mrs. Butler was an active church member.

“She was there every week at the early service - she really connected with people and was just the nicest person, “ Crocker said. “I can’t think of a negative thing to say of her.”

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