DECATUR, Mich. (WOOD) — A procession will escort the body of a Van Buren County Road Commission worker who was killed on the job to his funeral Monday.
Rene Rangel, 58, was hit by a pickup truck while working in a construction zone northwest of Lawrence on March 3.
His funeral will be held at the Decatur VFW on County Road 352/Phelps Street near E. Edgar Bergen Boulevard in Decatur. It is not open to the general public, but it will be preceded by a public procession.
The procession will begin at Faulkner’s Pickle Storage on M-51 north of Decatur at 10:10 a.m. Anyone who wishes to join with their equipment is asked to be lined up no later than 9:45 a.m.
The procession will go first to the Stark Family Funeral Homes Newell Chapel on M-51. It will head south and west on M-51 to County Road 215, then go north to County Road 352. It will follow 352 to the VFW, where the family will stop for the funeral. The procession will continue to Edgar Bergen Boulevard and then back to M-51, where it will end.
Various police agencies will block off the affected roads.
The public may view the procession on the sidewalk along M-51 in Decatur. Vehicles should not be parked on the street to allow the procession to get through.
“We thank everyone for the love and support shown to Rene’s family and the VBCRC during this difficult time,” a statement from the road commission said.
The Van Buren County Road Commission will be closed Monday and surrounding agencies will help cover. Emergency calls, like trees down on the road, can be directed to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at 269.657.3101.
At a vigil earlier this week, co-workers remembered Rangel as fun-loving and hardworking. His sister recalled hm as kind and caring to everyone.
“The Board of County Road Commissioners of Van Buren County is deeply saddened and mourns the loss of their fellow employee, René Rangel, Jr. He was a valued and respected staff member at the Road Commission where he built amazing friendships. His positive attitude, fun-loving style, and dedicated work ethic were contagious. The Board expresses its profound sorrow and extends its sincere condolences to René’s partner, Stacey Hollenbeck, and their families.”March 9, 2023, resolution by Board of County Road Commissioners
Michigan State Police previously said drugs were believed to be involved in the crash. Investigators said Friday they were still awaiting lab results, which should take three to six weeks, and cellphone analysis.