Man dead after car hits tree, catches fire

The aftermath of a vehicle fire after a 22-year-old Dowagiac man crashed into a tree (Photo courtesy Michigan State Police; May 24, 2014).

HARTFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — A 22-year-old Dowagiac man is dead after his vehicle crashed into a tree Saturday morning.

Michigan State Police and Hartford Police were called out to 63rd Street near the dead end of I-94 around 5 a.m..

They found a vehicle on fire after striking a tree. The fire was put out.

The driver, 22-year-old Juan Carlos Meza Jr. of Dowagiac, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities believe Meza Jr. was going south on 63rd when he went off the road and hit the tree.

Because of the condition of the vehicle following the fire, authorities do not know if Meza was wearing his seatbelt before the crash or if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

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