Barryton Grandmother Dies After Deputies Say Driver Drove Through Stop Sign

"She wasn’t going to go,” says Lavonne Horstman, Marie Gatehouse’s granddaughter. “My grandma was the warmest person.”

A Sunday trip to the store turned tragic.

A grandmother, killed after deputies say a driver missed a stop sign.

Deputies say the driver smashed into another car, sending three from each car to the hospital.

That includes 89-year-old Marie Gatehouse, who died hours later.

The deadly crash happened Sunday at the intersection of 19 Mile Road and M-66 near Barryton.

9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Derrick Larr met Marie’s granddaughter who survived the crash.

They have our top story.


Lavonne Horstman says she was in the backseat while her mother drove and her grandmother, Marie Gatehouse, rode up front.

They never saw the other car coming.

“We were going to go shopping,” Horstman says. “That’s all we were going to do."

In a split second, that turned into a scene of broken glass and twisted metal.

“All I remember is a blur and then just her hitting us and glass flying everywhere,” Horstman says. “The next thing I know, we stopped. We were in the ditch on the other side of the road. I don’t even know how far we were from the corner. I couldn’t even tell."

She could hear one thing…her grandmother’s voice.

“She just kept say they need to hurry up,” Horstman remembers. “They need to hurry up. I can’t feel my arms. I can’t feel my legs."

Marie was flown to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

“When she told me that Aero-Med was coming, I knew somebody was really hurt,” Horstman says. “I just didn’t know it was my grandma. She wasn’t going to go. She was going to go back home and stay there because my daughter was going to go."

Hours later, Marie, the church-going grandmother who lived just down the street, died.

“My grandma was the warmest person. She’d help anybody,” Horstman says. “She crocheted blankets for people and did a lot of things for other people. She was a great lady."

…A void left simply because deputies say someone missed a stop sign.

“All it takes is a matter of seconds,” Leon, Lavonne’s husband, says.

“She just needs to pay more attention to what she’s doing when she’s behind the wheel,” Horstman says.

Three people in the other car were hurt.

Lavonne broke three ribs and her mother was also hospitalized.

The sheriff says the prosecutor is now reviewing the case.

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