Police believe man in nighttime crash was hit, killed later on US-131

UPDATE: The deceased pedestrian from this crash has been identified as Roky Ines Vasquez-Vasquez, 24, of the Grand Rapids area.

WAYLAND—Police believe they have pieced together that a man who crashed his vehicle overnight on US-131 near Wayland was later struck and killed by a car.

A report from the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office said the two accidents were three hours apart.

Police have not released the names of any involved but reported witnesses had said the victim appeared to have driven erratically on northbound US-131 and crashed just north of Wayland about 2:15 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21. The driver had apparently fled and police could not locate him.

At 5:30 a.m., a different car’s driver reported striking a deer in the same area.

The police report, “Officers arrived and could not locate a deer, but the vehicle had damage consistent with hitting a deer—not another car or hard object. In the darkness, nothing else was located in the immediate area and this is not uncommon.”

By 8:50 a.m., however, a deputy was dispatched to check on an individual laying on the shoulder of the road along the highway, again in the same area. The body had obvious signs of trauma consistent with being struck by a vehicle. Investigators next connected the accidents.

Information on the victim tied him to the first crash.

“The subject was wearing dark clothing with no reflective surfaces and would have been extremely difficult to see in that full darkness,” police reported. “The driver of the vehicle involved in the reported car-versus-deer crash is cooperating with investigators.

“No names of individuals involved in this case will be released at this time pending family notifications,” police reported.

Updates on the investigation may be delayed due to the Christmas holiday.

The sheriff’s office was assisted on the scene by the Michigan State Police, Wayland Police Department, Wayland EMS and Wayland Fire Department.

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