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Forest Hills Central freshman dies after being struck by car

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CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. —School officials have confirmed that Lucas Van Sprange, a freshman at Forest Hills Central High School, has died after being struck by a car on Cascade Road near Manchester Hills Drive.

According to Kent County deputies, the 15-year-old was struck by a vehicle at about 7:15 a.m. Friday after being dropped off in the center turn lane by his stepfather.  He got out of the car and was hit by a black Audi driving westbound, that deputies believe was traveling the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit, as he tried to cross the Cascade Road.

Van Sprange was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and later died.

Close friend and Homecoming date of Van Sprange, Tatum Oxford, told FOX 17, "Lucas was a wonderful person. He was way beyond his years, so brilliant. I'm so blessed to have known him."

Van Sprange was a self-proclaimed aspiring physician who had recently traveled to Guatemala and built homes in rural areas.

"Our hearts are broken today, a tragic loss of one of our students, a 15-year-old," said Forest Hills Central Superintendent Dan Behm. "Like all 15-year-olds, he was just so full of life and it's so sudden and so shocking."

Forest Hill Central High School, along with other district schools, will have counselors and social workers available to meet with students. Behm said Van Sprange had attended FHPS since kindergarten.

"He's a kid with a huge smile and someone who had the type of personality that he welcomed many friends, and many friends were drawn to him, because of his outgoing and big personality," Behm said. "We're trying to support our kids, and our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family."

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32 comments

  • Matt

    Watching the news now, they are saying this kid was “brilliant”.. I am sorry but he was nowhere near brilliant. People these days have no common sense. Whatever happened to LOOK BOTH WAYS. I am sorry but people who are hit by cars are freaking retards.

    • Mike

      PLEASE have some respect! If you don’t have anything nice to say, please be quiet. This is not the time to exert your freedom of speech rights.

    • Jim

      Matt, you’re an idiot to say the least but I’m sure you heard that many times in your life.
      Wtf did the dad drop him off in the center turn lane for? Step dad should have charges brought against him for child neglect. My prayers go out to the family.

      • Matt

        Yes I agree that the step father is an idiot and the first thing I wondered was why drop him off in the middle of the road. And I am not an idiot. I cannot tell you how many times in a parking lot or wherever, I see a person just walk right out in the road without looking, many times on their “smart phone”.

  • Kim

    This family lost there child regardless of the circumstances. Show some respect because until you lose a child for whatever reason you will never understand the pain this family is going through. You people apparently have no common sense much less compassion. You are ignorant and a idiot to sit here and judge that child. Grow up not everything in life is a joke.

  • Jim

    The Father is 100% responsible for this tragic event,he put his child in danger for no reason, letting him out in the center lane, are you kidding me. Yes he will live with this the rest of his life, as he should. The driver that hit his child has to live with this also for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A public roadway is not for making your own rules. Protect your children at all costs.

    • samantha

      100% right , take care of your kids people . If you think it is o.k. to let your child out in the middle of a road where cars go at least 55 and it is dark you deserve not to be a parent and lose all rights! Poor kid!

  • Judy benninger

    I cannot believe I’m reading such disgusting comments on this site. Shame on all who have no symphathy for the tragic loss of their family member. There are no words to explain the type of person you are ,but when you or family member suffer trauma remember your cold attitude towards other people.

    • Tracy Stratton

      Amen Judy! The amount of rude, nasty, unfeeling comments on here in unbelievable. All from people who don’t even know anyone involved, I’m quite sure. Freedom of speech is great, but that doesn’t mean you should use it whenever you want. Try exercising your “freedom to keep your horrible comments to yourself”, people. Smh….

  • DB

    Excuse me, maybe that is something they did on a regular. Please stop being so disrespectful, you have no idea what could have been going through that boys mind at the time either. For people to sit and write on here that it’s the step dads fault is just plain ignorant. Don’t be so disrespectful, if something like this happened to you how would you feel about people negative comments?

  • Kelly Arens

    I went to school with the victims stepfather. He is a kind man who was raised by a wonderful mother and father. This is tragedy, a terrible accident. Stop the cruel, hateful comments.

  • David koning

    I would love to meet you Matt…you sound like a piece of trash. Stop hiding behind your keyboard and show yourself–I dare you–loser.

  • David Sales

    Poor Matt… Stupid IS as stupid DOES. It’s just plain sad that Matt, a self proclaimed genius about life, misses the entire meaning of life. The Dalai Lama adds “If people feel there is no need to develop compassion then it’s because they are being blocked by “ignorance and shortsightedness”.

  • Alicia

    In a tragedy/accident like this, I believe empathy, compassion and prayer are what’s needed most. This family does not need or deserve judgement from anyone. Those who look to point blame and find any mistakes made should maybe reflect upon their own lives and see if their journey has been without mistakes. I wish for strength for this family during this difficult time.

  • Lauren

    I’m not sure why people who don’t care at all about this incident choose to pull out a soap box. Social media has given a voice to many who don’t have anything worthwhile to say. Hurtful comments from Moe, Matt, and FNC111 should be removed. Bullies and those suffering from their own narsistic tendencies have nothing to offer here. Jim, Sandin and Samantha, having an opinion doesn’t make you right. This is a tragic accident. Avoidable only by hindsight. Forest Hills Transportation chooses dollars over sense in getting children to school.

  • Lauren

    To clarify, Forest Hills has regional bus stops (requires almost all parents to drive their kids to a bus stop). Children of divorced parents who live in two houses get one bus stop.

  • Brian

    There are some mistakes that you never get done paying for. This accident is a great example of that. Step-dad lets the kid out in the center turn lane, wearing dark clothing, and the bus wasn’t there? Talk about a tragic death that could have been avoided. My condolences, but the driver isn’t at fault here. Both the Step-dad and the driver will have to live with this their lives.