Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Monday

April 7, 2014

Services Tuesday for drivers killed in head-on crash

KALKASKA — Shanda Rhoat called her boyfriend from a gas station and said she'd be home in a couple minutes.

But Rhoat, 24, never came home. Her journey ended on an isolated stretch of Supply Road, also known as West Boardman Road, on April 3 when her vehicle collided head-on with a pickup truck driven by Kurt Mueller, 41, of Fife Lake.

Both drivers died in the Kalkaska County crash near the Grand Traverse County line.

Rhoat's sister Amber Rhoat said the family is "still in shock" as they grieve Shanda's unfinished life.

"She was 8 months pregnant when she died. It was her first ... " Amber Rhoat said.

Mueller's family members declined comment.

Kalkaska County authorities conducted a crash investigation and believe Rhoat's Chevrolet Blazer crossed the center line into Mueller's path.

Sheriff's Sgt. Harry Shipp said investigators checked into a few leads, but the investigation uncovered no specific reason for why Rhoat drove across the center line.

"It's probably closed unless we get additional information," he said.

Shanda Rhoat grew up in Kalkaska, graduated from Kalkaska High School and worked for Save-A-Lot in Traverse City. Amber Rhoat described her sister as a hard worker who enjoyed fishing and spending time with friends.

"I know she was a very loving person and she would do anything for anybody," Amber Rhoat said.

A visitation for Rhoat is Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Wolfe-O’Neill Funeral Home.

Mueller's family is holding a memorial service Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the Cadillac First Church of the Nazarene.

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