One dead, two injured in crash

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:25 PM

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.”


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