Kalamazoo, Fatal Car Crash, Police

KALAMAZOO (WWJ/AP) — Michigan authorities are trying to identify five people killed in a fiery, high-speed crash in Kalamazoo Township.

Township police said in a news release Saturday that the five victims were riding in a Dodge Charger traveling about 100 mph when it crashed into a tree and burst into flames about 1 a.m. Saturday.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas says he can’t speculate on the victims’ ages or genders because the scene is so “gruesome.”

A local pastor says the five victims are all believed to be teenagers, including one he had mentored.

An officer who spotted the speeding car turned on his lights and sirens, but quickly ended his pursuit because of safety concerns due to the car’s speed.

“A Kalamazoo Township police officer was along the side of the road, he spotted a car going by him at a speed he estimated to be 100 miles per hour,” Matyas told WWJ’s Michael Cohen. “The officer turned his overhead lights on and intended to stop the vehicle. About a half mile later — there’s a bend in the road — the officer comes around the bend, doesn’t see the car anymore so he shuts everything down. … There was no chase.”

He spotted the crashed, burning car along a roadside shortly afterward.

“He stayed in the area and looked for the vehicle,” said Matyas. “A few moments later, he came to East Main and Sprinkle road, he looked in the distance and he could see an orange glow. He went to that orange glow and it was indeed the vehicle that he had seen earlier and it was on fire.”

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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