Driver in deadly crash said she swerved to avoid hitting a cat

January 26, 2024

A ghost bike memorial was placed at the scene, which is located just north of the Muskegon and Oceana counties line, in remembrance of Kari Miller.

Driver in deadly crash said she swerved to avoid hitting a cat

By Allison Scarbrough, News Editor

GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP — The driver of a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee who struck and killed a 16-year-old Amish girl riding a bicycle on Skeels Road west of 192nd Avenue, Jan. 5, told police “she had swerved to miss a cat” and when she re-entered the road, she struck two bicyclists, according to the accident report.

Kari Rose Miller, 16, was killed while riding a bicycle, and her 17-year-old brother was seriously injured after being hit by the same vehicle. The crash occurred in an Amish community near Fremont.

OCP recently received a copy of the Michigan State Police accident report after submitting a Freedom of Information Act request. The names of the driver and both bicyclists were redacted, along with their ages, genders and race. Although, MSP previously stated the driver is a 35-year-old woman.

The report states that the Jeep was “traveling westbound on Skeels Road” when it collided with two bicyclists. It states that one bicyclist (Kari Miller’s brother) “sustained serious injuries as a result of this crash (and) was transported by Life EMS to Trinity Health Muskegon for evaluations. The other bicyclist (Kari Miller) was pronounced dead on scene.” The Jeep driver did not sustain any injuries. The vehicle was towed from the scene.

Amish buggies trot down Skeels Road in the vicinity of the crash scene.

A ghost bike memorial was placed at the scene, which is located just north of the Muskegon and Oceana counties line, in remembrance of Kari Miller.

The 6:30 p.m. crash occurred in dark but clear weather conditions, the report states. Drugs and alcohol are not considered factors in the crash. The report states that blood draws to test for alcohol and drugs were performed on the driver.

There are deep ditches on each side of Skeels Road in that area with narrow, unpaved shoulders. 

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon said paperwork has not been submitted to his office yet seeking criminal charges regarding the crash. “But investigators have been in contact with me previously to obtain a search warrant. I assume the investigation is continuing. I cannot comment further on this until a full report is completed and submitted.”

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