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Tara Oskam and David Torrez, 16, killed, Alejandro Torrez, 16, charged in crash following police chase at 52nd Street SE and Broadmoor Avenue SE in Kentwood, Michigan
The suspect vehicle, traveling east on 52nd Street SE, crashed into a north bound vehicle, killing the driver. Grand Rapids resident Tara Oskam was pronounced dead at the scene.
A passenger of the suspect vehicle was also pronounced dead at the scene.
Oskam’s uncle said that she had been returning to Calvin College from playing euchre when the crash occurred. She had been on the phone when she screamed, and then an explosion was heard.
"I called her name, over and over and over again with nothing, and I heard sirens and I heard a man's voice and I knew something was wrong."
Lt. Chris McIntire says he reviewed in-car video and talked with the trooper following the chase, which began Saturday night with an attempted traffic stop of a car going 90 mph in Kentwood, near Grand Rapids. McIntire says he believes the pursuit was justified.
Oskam’s boyfriend, Chad Beisel, said Oskam was driving back from a euchre tournament at her church in Cutlerville at the time of the crash. He was following a few minutes behind her. He had spoken to Oskam on the phone only a few minutes before he came upon the fiery crash.
About 250 people filled the pews at Byron Center First Christian Reformed Church to lay Oskam to rest after her life was taken tragically in a car crash on March 11. Oskam's casket was surrounded by flowers and photographs from family and friends.
Kent County prosecutors filed the second-degree murder charges on Wednesday. The complaint alleges that Torrez acted with intent to kill, do great bodily harm or in wanton and willful disregard of the likelihood that his acts would cause death or great bodily harm.
The chase took place over about six miles and lasted about five minutes. The suspect car was quite a distance in front of the trooper when the deadly crash happened.
Stapley was the first witness to testify in the trial for Alejandro Torrez, who is accused of causing the crash that killed Oskam and Torrez' 15-year-old cousin, David Torrez.