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Driver who led police on high speed chase that ended in 2 deaths bound over for trial

KENTWOOD, Mich. - The driver in a high speed chase March 11 that ended with two people dead is heading to trial.

Alex Torrez, 17, was bound over for trial Friday afternoon.  He is accused of leading police on a high speed chase in March that hit speeds up to 116 mph before ending in a crash that killed his passenger, his 15-year-old cousin David Torrez, and 21-year-old Calvin College student, Tara Oskam.

Alex Torrez is being charged as an adult on two counts of second degree murder.

Tara Oskam - from Calvin College

Other drivers who witnessed the crash and Michigan State Police trooper Chris Bommarito who was chasing Torrez testified Friday afternoon. Dash-cam video from that night shows Bommarito trying to stop Torrez for speeding at 90 mph on US-131, but when Torrez pulled off the freeway he took off.

The prosecutor played the six and a half minute dash-cam video for the court Friday. Torrez put his hand over his face as people in the packed courtroom watched Torrez speed through about five red lights.

MSP Sgt. James Campbell, a traffic reconstruction expert, testified Torrez hit speeds of 116 miles per hour and did not slow down before crashing into Oskam's car. The chase ended at the intersection of Broadmoor and 52nd Street in Kentwood when Torrez crashed into Oskam's car.

Oskam was a junior at Calvin College and was returning to the school after an evening at church.

State records showed that Torrez did not have a valid driver's license at the time of the crash. He also has a criminal history of stealing a car and carrying concealed brass knuckles and a knife.

Kentwood District Judge William Kelly bound Torrez over for trial and kept his bond at $1 million. Then he took a moment to address both families.

"I know it’s been very hard on March 11 hearing this terrible news, I’m sure it’s been very difficult for you to be here today and hear about this," said Judge Kelly.

"From the reports I read in the newspaper, [Tara Oskam] was a beautiful young lady and my sympathies for you. And for the Torrez family, I know it’s very difficult for you to go through this also. So it’s a very, very sad day for everybody."

 

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