GR Catholic Central HS senior killed in crash; brother injured

Jared Pilczuk (undated photo)


CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A teen was killed and his younger brother was injured in a rollover crash near Belmont Thursday night.

It happened around 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of Egypt Valley Avenue and Cannonsburg Road in Cannon Township, northeast of Grand Rapids.

Kent County Sheriff’s deputies said the driver, 18-year-old Jared Pilczuk of Rockford, failed to yield the right of way while turning left onto Cannonsburg Road from northbound Egypt Valley Avenue.

Investigators say Pilczuk died at the scene. Emergency crews took Pilczuk’s brother, 14-year-old Nicholas Pilczuk, to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital with serious injuries. As of Friday evening, he was still listed in serious condition.

Authorities responding to a fatal crash at the intersection of Egypt Valley Avenue and Cannonsburg Road in Cannon Township on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

Jared was a senior at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School and Nicholas is an eighth grader at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic School.

Catholic Central Principal Greg Deja spent Friday morning with Jared’s family before grieving the loss with classmates and teachers.

“I was amazed at their strength. I was amazed at their faithfulness,” Deja told 24 Hour News 8. “Their spirits are incredibly strong, considering. They’re grateful Nicholas looks like he’ll pull through and they were gracious for all of the prayers they’ve been receiving.”

Family members questioned a construction site on the southwest corner of the intersection as possibly obstructing Jared’s view before he made the turn on Thursday night.

But both the Kent County Road Commission and Kent County Sheriff’s Department surveyed the area and agreed the construction area isn’t close enough to the road to block a driver’s view of eastbound traffic on Cannonsburg Road.

Kent County Road Commission Director of Traffic and Safety Tim Haagsma also told 24 Hour News 8 the intersection is not one they’d consider to be dangerous in the county.

“Over the last four years we’ve averaged less than two crashes of the type where someone failed to yield at the stop sign,” Haagsma said. ”In our view [that’s] below something we would consider something we’d be concerned about.”

The 60-year-old driver involved in the crash Thursday night was treated and released from the hospital.

Investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor. The crash is still under investigation.