16-year-old driver in deadly crash remains hospitalized.

December 2, 2021

16-year-old driver in deadly crash remains hospitalized.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — The 16-year-old driver involved in a deadly crash early Sunday morning, Nov. 28, remains in serious condition at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, said Michigan State Police Trooper Todd Goodrich with the Hart post Thursday Dec 2.

Hector Francisco Vasquez-Melchor, 23, of Shelby died in the crash.

Antonio Michael Gonzales was the driver of a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado extended cab four-door pickup truck that hit a tree around 12:45 a.m. on West Taylor Road near North 72nd Avenue in Hart Township. Vasquez-Melchor was the front seat passenger.

Three other passengers were seriously injured and transported to an area hospital. Mercedes Belen Perez, 19, of Hart was a rear middle seat passenger. “She was treated for several broken bones,” said Goodrich.

The other backseat passengers were Jose Alfredo Villarreal, 17, and Rey Esjair Zuniga, 17, both of Hart. 

Troopers continue investigating the deadly crash, said Goodrich.

“Alcohol was observed at the scene, but consumption is under investigation,” said Goodrich. The post is waiting on toxicology results.

Road conditions were snowy and icy, he said.

It is not immediately known if the occupants of the truck were wearing seatbelts.

MSP was assisted at the scene by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office, the Hart Area Fire Department, the Shelby-Benona Fire Department and Life EMS. 

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