MSP identifies wrong-way driver in deadly crash

Jane Slotsema
An undated photo of Jane Slotsema courtesy her online obituary from Zaagman Memorial Chapel.


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State Police have identified the woman who caused a deadly crash while driving the wrong way on US-131 Thursday.

Police confirm to 24 Hour News 8 that 25-year-old Jane Slotsema was driving south on northbound US-131 in Wyoming when she struck a car being driven by Jonathon Yarrington. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

US-131, wrong-way crash
The scene of a wrong-way crash on US-131 south of 28th Street. (Feb. 23, 2017)

It’s not yet clear why Slotsema was driving the wrong way. Police are waiting for toxicology reports, which could take weeks, to determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor.

Slotsema’s family members were too distraught to go on camera Sunday, but told 24 Hour News 8 she was intelligent and driven. They said she “had a real spark” and was the light of their life.

According to her online obituary, Slotsema graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School, had a bachelor’s degree in social psychology from the University of Michigan and was working to get a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Western Michigan University.

She was one of six children. She also left behind a boyfriend who posted a link to her obituary on Facebook and wrote, “Rest in peace, love. I love you. I miss you.”

Funeral services for Slotsema are scheduled for Saturday at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church. The family says that in lieu of sending flowers, memorial contributions be made to Grand Rapids Christian Schools and Hope Network.

Funeral arrangements for Yarrington, 27, are still pending, his fiancee told 24 Hour News 8 on Saturday.

–24 Hour News 8’s Sarah Hurwitz contributed to this report.