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Posted on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Former Ypsilanti couple among 4 dead in 3-car crash in southern Indiana

By Danielle Arndt

Husband and wife Michael and Jennifer Ross will return home to Ypsilanti Friday to be buried, after a head-on three-car collision in southern Indiana on Dec. 16 took their lives.

The accident occurred outside Evansville, Ind., near the Kentucky state line.


Jennifer and Michael Ross died just six days apart following a head-on collision that occurred Dec. 16 near Evansville, Ind., on Interstate 164. Their funeral and burial will be Friday in Ypsilanti.

From Stacy Dunn

Jennifer, 36, was killed when a 17-year-old girl driving a mini van crossed the median of Interstate 164 and hit the Ross’ sport utility vehicle head-on, according to reports by NBC's Evansville station TV-14 WFIE.

Michael, 43, was transported to the hospital, where he died on Dec. 20 from injuries sustained in the crash, WFIE reported.

WDRB-TV, a Fox News affiliate out of Louisville, Ky., described the accident as truly “gruesome.” The teenager and an 8-year-old boy who was related to the couple also died in the collision. The driver of a pick-up truck involved suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Jennifer and Michael both attended Ypsilanti High School. They moved to Princeton, Ind., about three months ago, said Jennifer’s brother Stacy Dunn.

“They had a joyous relationship,” Dunn said of his sister and bother-in-law. “They were very tight and cared about each other deeply.

“Jennifer was the type of person that, regardless if she was having a bad day or if you were having a bad day, her smile would put a smile on your face,” he added. “If someone needed something, she was there to help.”

The couple was married on Valentine’s Day in 1996. They have two children, a teenaged daughter, Kristena Ross; and Michael’s son, Michael Ryan Ross.

Dunn said his mother fought to have the pair buried in Ypsilanti for her sake and their daughter’s.

“(Jennifer and Kristena) had one of the strongest, closest relationships of anyone I have ever known,” Dunn said. “They were extremely close.”


Jennifer and Michael Ross, formerly of Ypsilanti, stand with their daughter, Kristena, prior to the crash that claimed the couple's life. Money given in their memory will go to help Kristena.

From Stacy Dunn

He and Jennifer’s second brother, Billy Dunn, donated their grave plots in Highland Cemetery so the couple could be buried side-by-side.

Jennifer and Michael were big University of Michigan sports fans, especially volleyball and softball, sports Jennifer played in high school, Stacy Dunn said.

He said of all the siblings, Jennifer’s twin, Jacqueline Dunn, is having the hardest time processing the loss.

He told how as a child Jennifer would tag along and help Jacqueline with her paper route. He said one day when the sisters were about 13, Jennifer crossed the street to buy a couple of sodas. When Jacqueline came to join her, Jacqueline was hit by a pick-up truck and spent a month in the hospital in critical condition.

“I thought Jennifer’s world would be torn apart at that time … and now Jackie has to suffer through this,” Stacy said.

A funeral service for the couple will take place at noon Friday at Janowiak Funeral Home, 320 N. Washington St., with a visitation at 11 a.m.

Facebook pages in memory of both Jennifer and Michael have been created for friends and family to share thoughts and stories about the couple. Money given in their memory will be put into a bank account for their daughter. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

The collision that killed the couple remains under investigation, according to WFIE. Authorities have ruled out cell phone use as a possible cause for the crash and are now looking at a possible medical condition, the article says.

To read Jennifer and Michael’s complete obituaries, click here.

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

This is so very sad, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends.

Atticus F.

Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 4:41 p.m.

I witnessed the aftermath of this accident on the way to New Orleans. It was a terrible sight, and one I will not be able to forget. Little did I know that it would also hit close to home. I hope the family members will be able to find peace after such a tragic loss.


Fri, Dec 30, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Thanks. I misread that. I saw the truck driver and thought they were one in the same. Ouch. What a double whammy.


Fri, Dec 30, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

The teen, Sylvia Fischer, also died in the crash, along with a little boy, 8-year old William Dunn.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

I guess that is why I don't travel as much as I use to. It seems there is more tragedy on the highway then at home. What a thing for the teen to remember for all the days of her remaining life. I hope they figure what caused it. Good luck.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

Our hearts go out to the families of Jennifer and Michael. May God give them strength to get through this terrible time.