Cars were backed up early Tuesday, March 5, after a crash closed the highway for several hours. (Photo by Daniel Pepper)

Kalamazoo man killed in US-131 morning crash

By: 
Daniel Pepper, Staff Writer

A Kalamazoo man was killed Tuesday, March 5, in a crash on US-131 in Martin Township that happened when he rear-ended a stopped school bus.

According to Michigan State Police, the crash happened about 7:30 a.m. on northbound US-131 near mile marker 53 in Martin Township and involved two SUV’s along with the school bus.

“The driver of one of the sport utility vehicles failed to observe that traffic was stopped due to a prior crash and rear-ended the stopped school bus,” police said.

The driver was identified as Evert-Jan Ohler, 65, and police said he died from his injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene.

The bus, from Providence Christian School in Kalamazoo, was carrying 19 teenaged students. One of the occupants of the bus was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Allegan County Sheriff Frank Baker said the students were taken to the Martin Fire Station for shelter during the investigation.

State police said their preliminary investigation showed the crash was caused by speed and that alcohol and drugs appear not to be factors.

Traffic on US-131 backed up as far south as D Avenue Tuesday morning as multiple crashes closed the expressway in two places, reopening around 10:21 a.m.

Contact Dan Pepper at dpepper@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.

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