CALEDONIA (WITI) -- A husband and wife, crossing the street after church in Caledonia Saturday, January 24th were killed when they were hit by an SUV. Loved ones, and the couple's church family are trying to come to grips with the tragic loss.
With tears in his eyes, Father Mark Danczyk made an announcement to parishioners at St. Louis Catholic Church on County Road G in Caledonia Sunday. Father Danczyk says his last interaction with Oscar and Vernetta Lang has been replaying in his mind.
"Vernetta said 'Father Mark, you should go inside. It`s so cold out here.' I said 'I like ice and snow. I don`t mind being out in the cold,' and she said 'okay, you take care of yourself' and kind of smiled. I said 'you take care of yourself too.' A minute-and-a-half later..." Father Danczyk said.
Police say Oscar and Vernetta Lang were crossing the street -- headed for their vehicle when they were hit by an SUV.
"I heard the big thump and everyone immediately turned to see what happened. One of the girls immediately screamed 'oh my God. There`s a body on the side of the road.' Some of us went running immediately to the lady. We heard another lady holler 'there`s another body down here' about 125 feet down the road," Father Danczyk said.
Several witnesses tried to help, but Oscar and Vernetta Lang died as a result of their injuries.
"The one image that sticks in my mind is the four empty shoes in the middle of the road," Father Danczyk said.
Father Danczyk says he's distraught over what happened.
"Slept half-an-hour, throwing up , non-stop crying. If I'm going through this I can`t imagine what the family is going through during this tragic time," Father Danczyk said.
Oscar and Vernetta Lang, each 83 years old were long-time parishioners of St. Louis Catholic Church. They were married for 60 years.
"They truly loved each other. They were always holding hands," Father Danczyk said.
Described as kind and generous people, the couple's death is heartbreaking for all who knew them. Many of them are now trying to find solace in their faith.
"We also pray for one another -- especially when tragedy occurs. Parishioners reach out to pray for those who are hurting," father Danczyk said.
Counselors are being made available at the church for those who'd like to talk.
As for the striking driver, police say she had two children in the vehicle with her when the deadly crash occurred. No one in that vehicle was injured.
Police do not believe alcohol was a factor in this incident.