Few words spoken by teen charged in deadly MSP chase, crash

Alex Torrez
Alex Torrez appears in Kentwood District Court for a hearing tied to the March 11 police chase and deadly crash. (April 13, 2017)

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A teen driver charged with murder after a police chase and deadly crash in Kentwood faced a judge Thursday.

Alex Torrez, 17, was wheeled into Kentwood District Court for a probable cause hearing tied to the March 11 crash that killed his cousin, 15-year-old David Torrez, and another driver, Calvin College student Tara Oskam.

Tara Oskam, David Torrez
Undated courtesy photos of Tara Oskam (left) and David Torrez.

Torrez is charged as an adult with two counts of second-degree murder.

From his wheelchair Thursday, the teen only spoke to agree to delay his preliminary examination, which was slated for next week. His lawyer asked to push back the date to review all police reports and videos related to the incident.

Police released dashcam video of the chase and deadly crash to 24 Hour News 8 earlier this week, as part of a Freedom of Information Request.

MSP said a trooper tried to pull over Torrez for speeding on US-131, but he continued on to 52nd Street. Michigan Secretary of State records show Torrez didn’t have a legal license and was driving his mother’s car.

The chase spanned about six miles and lasted about five minutes before the fiery crash on 52nd and Broadmoor Avenue in Kentwood.

Oskam was on the phone with her roommate, returning from a church euchre tournament when her car was hit, according to her boyfriend. David Torrez was a passenger in Alex Torrez’ car. Both died at the scene.

A trooper and officer pulled Alex Torrez from the burning wreck, MSP said. He was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries and later moved to jail.

Both the Torrez and Oskam families were in the courtroom for Thursday’s short hearing. Tears could be seen on the faces of some members of the Torrez family.

24 Hour News 8 reached out to both families who declined to comment.

Prosecutors and the judge agreed to moving Torrez’s preliminary exam to May 19.