20-year-old dies in Kalamazoo Township crash

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KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A 20-year-old Kalamazoo Township man was killed after witnesses watched his speeding car sideswipe a truck, hit a utility pole and break through a fence into a parking lot Sunday morning.

At 5:55 a.m. Sunday, the Kalamazoo Township Police Department responded to a report of a traffic accident on Mosel Avenue just east of North Burdick Street. Witnesses told officers that a 1996 Toyota Camry was traveling eastbound on Mosel approaching North Burdick at a very high rate of speed.  Just after the Camry drove through the intersection at North Burdick, it left the roadway’s south side to avoid striking a pickup truck, which also was traveling eastbound on Mosel, from behind.

Witnesses said the Camry then sideswiped the right side of the pickup truck, causing minimal damage, before the Camry left the roadway, snapped off a utility pole on the south side of Mosel, continued through a metal fence and came to rest in a parking lot.

The Camry’s driver, a 20-year old Kalamazoo Township man, was pronounced dead at the scene.  His name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

The Kalamazoo Township Fire Department and Life EMS assisted Kalamazoo Township police at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation. Kalamazoo Township officers are being assisted by a Portage Department of Public Safety traffic crash investigator.

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3 comments

  • Trudy Baltazar

    Very sad. I helped free a driver of another ’96 Camry from prison who was wrongly convicted for his Camry accelerating out of control and brakes failing. His accident resulted in three deaths. I attended a federal trial that showed the cause of what is happening to these Camrys. The accelerator control system (ACS unit) always contained metal pulleys that controlled the accelerator cable but Toyota decided to switch to nylon resin pulleys instead (to save money). Only problem is, the upper resin pulley rests against a metal back plate and after time when the pulley heats up to cover 165 deg F, it binds up and sticks to the metal back plate and won’t release the accelerator cable. I watched a video of 4 tests and it took 4-6 mins for the resin pulley to cool down enough to release the accelerator cable. Also, ABS brakes were not designed to work with a stuck open throttle – you lose all vacuum pressure in the vacuum assist system after 1-1 1/2 pumps of the brakes. why? because Toyota didn’t install a brake override system in this vehicle (another money saving idea). I can only assume that Toyota cares more about saving money than they do about saving lives.

    • John Berry

      That’s fine as far as it goes. However, my research (includes Toyota fact sheets) Show that the brake override system was not DEVELOPED until 2010. The earliest retrofit was to 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, and the 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350, 2006-2010 IS 350 and 2006-2010 IS 250 models. Therefore, it has no bearing on the 1996 Camry.