One dead, two injured in crash

(UPDATED 7:40 p.m. ) The 27-year-old Cloverville man who died in a crash north of Fruitport on Thursday was “a very likeable guy,” according to members of his girlfriend’s family.
Becky Vargo
May 8, 2014


The family gathered at the intersection of Sternberg and Dangl roads in Fruitport Township to await verification that the man killed in the two-vehicle crash was Dennis Oakley, a former Thompsonville resident, they said.

One family member took a phone call and said, “It’s Dennis.”

Detectives were at the home of Larry Jenkin’s daughter, Heather, to inform her about her boyfriend’s death, the family said.

Jenkin’s girlfriend, Diane Meara of Fruitport, said Heather had left Wednesday to visit friends out of state.

“She’s trying to make it home,” Meara said.

Dennis stayed home to work, she said. He was probably on his way home from work at the time of the crash.

Fruitport Township police said a car smashed into a van shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Dangl Road, north of Ellis Road. Two people in the van were taken by ambulance to a local hospital with unknown injuries, said Detective Lt. Bruce Morningstar. Their names were not available.

The van, smashed in the front, remained on the road immediately after the crash. The car was ripped in half and ended up in a field on the west side of the road.

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The crash was under investigation and no more details were being released at the time, police said.

Amy Kuharevicz, who lives in a house south of the crash scene, said she was watching TV when she heard a big “boom.”

“Our windows shook,” she said.

By the time she walked over to the crash, Kuharevicz said emergency personnel were already arriving.

Kuharevicz said she talked to a witness who said she was driving north on Dangl and the man in the car kept trying to pass her. When he eventually pulled into the other lane, his car collided with the van.

No information was available from police as of press time.

Meara said Oakley had just celebrated a birthday a couple of weeks ago.

“He was a good man,” she said. “He didn’t have much, but he would help you at any turn that he could.”



How sad. Ugh, do you really need to post all of those pictures? I understand it's a "news" story, but some of the pictures are very insensitive to the family of the 27 yr old man, in my opinion.

Grand Haven Happy

happycamper is totally correct. The tiny tin can cars being pushed on the public thru mandated regulations are nothing but a coffin waiting to be filled and they sure are being. The public would be so outraged if they had attended the crash and certification tests. I have many as it was a part of my profession duties.

A 2000-2500 vehicle being hit by a 4000-5000+ vehicle is like a bowling ball hit a basketball. Try it and you'll learn something. The human brain and blood vessels alone can't handle the violent sudden reversal of direction even if no other injuries are suffered in bouncing off or the instant direction reversal of the lighter of the 2 vehicles in crashes.

Want a vivid example? Princess Diana virtually had no other injuries in her accident in London other than her blood vessel(aorta) being ripped off her heart from the instant stop. From 80 mph to an instant stop is the same as going 40 mph in one direction and instantly bouncing off in the opposite direction at 40 mph. Think about it!

jerrysnaville needs to grow up a lot and not think he's the kiddi-cop who decides if someones else's post is worthy or not!


If being professional, factual, medical, detail and totally correct, it was Paris. I was working there then. I'm not a Forum Famous? just reading about Grand Haven from overseas via the global (not Tri-Cities) Internet. It would be refreshing if more of Comments were less personal, Famous Forum critiques.




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