A rear-end traffic accident Wednesday in Early took the life of the late Justice of the Peace Charles McCain’s mother-in-law and seriously injured his widow, police said.

Lorena Schmidt, 94, of Early, a passenger in a 1998 Oldsmobile, was pronounced dead at Brownwood Regional Medical Center following the 5:45 p.m. accident, which happened in the 300 block of U.S. Highway 183 South, Early Police Chief David Mercer said.

Martha McCain, 63, of Early, was driving the Oldsmobile and had stopped to make a left turn and was waiting for traffic to pass, Mercer said.

The Oldsmobile was hit from behind by a 2004 Land Rover driven by Kelsie Freeman, Mercer said.

McCain was taken to the Brownwood hospital and airlifted later to Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, where she was in serious condition Thursday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Mercer said Freeman had no visible injuries.

Early and Brownwood firefighters responded to the accident and extricated the Oldsmobile’s occupants with the Jaws of Life, Mercer said.

Charles McCain died May 7, 2007, at age 63. He served as Precinct 3 justice of the peace for five terms before leaving office on Dec. 31, 2006.