by Associate Editor Joe May
A alcohol-related accident has ended the lives of two saints in Trenton, Mich.
According to news reports, Don and Jennifer Tarjeft, 48 and 51, respectively, were killed instantly on Telegraph Road in the Michigan city last Saturday.
Patrick Allen Shope, 34, of Brownstown, Mich., was arrested and charged with two counts of DWI causing death. Each charge carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
Evidence at the scene suggests that the suspect was attempting to change lanes and in so doing, forced a Carleton woman into another lane. The Tarjefts were riding motorcyles and were struck head-on the by the woman’s vehicle.
Another couple from church, Aaron and Jennifer Wilmoth, 32 and 28, respectively, who were riding on their bikes were sideswiped and were transported to the hospital for their injuries, which included a broken neck and other bones for Aaron and a severed leg for Jennifer. The leg could not be saved.
The suspect is currently free on a $100,000 bond.
The Tarjets were members of the Gateway congregation in Southgate, Mich., where Don served as an elder and Jennifer was church secretary.
The congregation is serving as a clearinghouse for donations for the couple’s three children, Earl, Daniel and Alicia, who is a student at Harding University.
Funeral services were conducted Thursday.