SUTTONS BAY, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A Lake Leelanau teen driver could be facing criminal charges in a deadly two-vehicle crash that authorities say was caused by reckless driving.
The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office said the 16-year-old driver was with two teen passengers when he ran a stop sign around 12:45 a.m. Saturday in Centerville Township.
Friends of the teenagers, who were following behind in a second vehicle, told police the driver didn’t stop because he wanted to “catch air” for a “roller coaster effect” on the hilly road.
After blowing through a stop sign, police said the teens’ vehicle crashed into a pickup truck driven by 31-year-old Brian Nachazel of Cedar. Nachazel’s truck struck a utility pole before it rolled over. He was ejected from his truck and declared dead at the scene.
The teens’ vehicle also rolled over. Two teens were able to make it out under their own power and were transported to a local hospital by ambulance. It took firefighters about two hours to extricate the third teen, who was then airlifted to a local hospital.
The 16-year-olds were last reported in fair condition; the 17-year-old was in critical condition. Police said two of the teens were not wearing seatbelts.
The teenagers following in the second vehicle were uninjured, police said.
Sheriff Mike Borkovich said investigators don’t know how fast the car was going but it’s classified as reckless driving.
“They were out messing around in their cars traveling at a high rate of speed,” Borkovich told WWTV. “In this particular situation, it’s being investigated as a reckless driving incident, reckless driving being the cause of a factor. We’re looking into all the details.”
The accident remains under investigation.
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