SCOTTVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) - Friends say Carol Berenbrock was a fixture at two popular downtown Grand Rapids restaurants over the quarter century.
On Monday, Lisa Verhil, wife of Cottage Bar and One Trick Pony owner Dan Verhil, was faced with the difficult task of calling coworkers and customers alike to let them know about Berenbrock's tragic death.
"We're deeply devastated by this loss," Verhil told 24 Hour News 8.
The 54-year-old Berenbrock and her husband, 55-year-old Gary Berenbrock, were killed in a crash that occurred about 1:30 Sunday afternoon in Mason County.
Long-time friend Dave Hankamp described Gary Berenbrock as a "real fun-loving guy," who helped his son's racing team and Berlin Raceway.
Details are still emerging, but the Mason County Sheriff's Office says the Berenbrocks were on their motorcycle on northbound U.S. 31, south of Fountain Road near Scottville, when they were struck by a southbound vehicle that swerved into their lane.
The local fire chief lives just yards from where the accident happened. Even he was shaken up by what he saw.
"It was pretty bad," said Fountain Fire Department Chief Roger Berndt. "It was one of the graphic more scenes that I've seen in a long time."
Witnesses said they heard brakes squeal and the sound of the impact, but there was nothing anyone could do.
A friend of the Conklin couple on another motorcycle witnessed the crash.
Verhil said they're trying to get the word out to people about the tragedy.
Employees of the two downtown restaurants plan to meet privately Monday night to remember their friends and grieve their loss.
Authorities are still investigating why the other vehicle swerved into the northbound lane.
The case of a man accused of the involuntary manslaughter of three children who died in a February apartment fire is ready to go to a jury.
A Grand Rapids man has been arrested in connection to the case of a Jenison teen who was reported missing Thursday.
Police say the other driver in a Nov. 7 head-on crash in Kalamazoo had been drinking.