The Rev. Wolfgang Krismanits, who led the congregation at Sonora's Red Church for two decades, and his wife LaDonn were killed Tuesday in a three-vehicle auto accident near Hollister.
Krismanits, 60, known popularly as "Father Wolf," was driving his 2002 Mercury Sable east on State Highway 156 at San Felipe Road at 3:20 p.m., when his car was struck in the intersection by a southbound Nissan Altima driven by Rudy Lopez, 24, of Morgan Hill.
Lopez had run a red light, said Officer Dakota Smith of the Hollister-Gilroy California Highway Patrol. Krismanits' car was pushed beneath a westbound tractor trailer, driven by Rosario Medina, 42, of Salinas.
Krismanitses was pronounced dead at the scene.His wife, 51,a was taken to Hazel Hawkins Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Lopez, whose car hit a power pole and went down an embankment, was transported by helicopter to San Jose Regional Medical Center with major injuries.
Wolfgang Krismanits received open-heart surgery about a month ago. He and his wife were returning from a visit to the surgeon in Monterey when the accident occurred, according to his family members.
Krismanits had suffered from heart damage since boyhood, the result of a bout of rheumatic fever.
CHP said road conditions were clear and warm. The Krismanitses were wearing seat belts.