2 Killed in Head-on Collision after Pickup Drives Wrong Way on U.S. 131

GUN PLAIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (April 16, 2014) – Two people are dead following a crash in Allegan County, the result of a wrong-way driver traveling at speeds that may have reached 100 miles per hour.

Michigan State Police got multiple calls for a wrong-way driver in the southbound lanes of U.S. 131 in Kalamazoo County shortly before midnight.  It was a pickup truck that was traveling at an excessive speed.

When troopers responded, they realized the pickup truck was heading toward them just south of M-89 in Allegan County. Troopers attempted to slow the driver down, but the combination of his speed and the fact he was driving in the wrong direction proved difficult.  Police then tried to clear the traffic that the driver was approaching, but there was a collision.

The pickup smashed head-on into a Mustang near M-89 and exit 49 and both vehicles caught fire, but the troopers extinguished the flames.  The driver of the pickup truck, Jeremy Smeltzer, 29, from Portage, was airlifted to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was the only person in the pickup truck. The driver of the Mustang, Jaryd Ford, 21, from Plainwell, died at the scene. Ford’s passenger, Megan Covey, 26, from Wayland, suffered various injuries including a broken arm.  She was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

The accident shut down the highway for over three hours and police say everyone was wearing seat belts.  It remains under investigation at this time.

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