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Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Area couple killed in Darke County crash

By Shelley Grieshop
A Versailles couple were killed late Monday afternoon after their pickup truck traveled through a stop sign and collided with another pickup truck near Rossburg.
Pronounced dead at the scene were Michael Oliver Brandt, 62, who had worked at the former New Idea plant in Coldwater, and his wife, Catherine Leigh, 57, a Celina High School graduate who grew up in the Montezuma area.
Neither of the Brandts were wearing seat belts and both were ejected upon impact, the report from the Darke County Sheriff's Office said.
The driver of the second vehicle, Larry Mangen, 46, of Rossburg, refused treatment at the scene. He reportedly lived less than a quarter-mile from the accident scene.
The sheriff's report said the Brandts were driving a 1999 Ford Ranger northbound on Hughes Road at 5:06 p.m. when Michael Brandt failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Medford Road. His vehicle was struck by Mangen's westbound 1989 Dodge Dakota.
Both vehicles spun off the northwest corner of the intersection and came to rest in a field, the report said.
Assisting at the scene were units from Rossburg Fire and Ansonia Rescue.
Cathy Brandt's sister, Patti Gariety of Celina, said the couple were heading to a deer farm they operated about a mile and a half from their home on Brock-Cosmos Road.
"They raised white-tail deer," she said. "Their truck was loaded with feed."
Cathy Brandt was a seamstress by trade and operated her own online business where she sold smocks, aprons and other like items, Gariety said. In tears, she recalled her only sister's outgoing personality.
"She didn't know a stranger," she said.
Cathy Brandt loved arts and crafts and was quite creative, her sister added.
"They both loved their grandchildren and spent a lot of time with them," Gariety said.
The couple had two grandchildren and a third due in December, she said.
Mike Brandt loved to cook and his specialty was barbecuing, the family said. A former factory worker, he most recently worked on his stepfather's farm and planned to retire in January.
Hogenkamp Funeral Home in Coldwater is handling arrangements.
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