1 dead after head-on crash with tanker truck

The scene of a crash on 134th Avenue west of Wayland. The driver of a car involved was pronounced dead at the hospital. (June 11, 2015)

MONTEREY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man was killed after a passenger vehicle and tanker truck collided head-on west of Wayland on Thursday morning.

The wreck happened just before 8 a.m. on 134th Avenue west of 26th Street in Monterey Township, according to Michigan State Police. MSP says its initial investigation indicates a westbound vehicle crossed the centerline and struck an eastbound tanker truck head-on.

The driver of the westbound vehicle was rushed to a Grand Rapids hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified by MSP Thursday afternoon as 55-year-old William Merchant Jr.

The driver of the tanker truck, 48-year-old Scott Beltman — was not hurt.

The crash remains under investigation. It’s not yet known why the Merchant’s vehicle crossed the centerline.

A photo of the scene taken by a 24 Hour News 8 viewer shows debris from Merchant’s vehicle — which the viewer described as a Jeep — in the road following the crash. The viewer said described the sound of the crash as like an explosion.

**Correction: An earlier version of this article stated the crash happened in Hopkins Township. It actually happened in Monterey Township.

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