Car carrying teens in deadly crash was stolen

Comstock Township fatal crash dashcam
Police arrive on scene of a fiery crash in Comstock Township that killed 5 people (Kalamazoo Township Police via Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office/September 2, 2017)


COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities say the vehicle involved in a fiery crash that killed five teenager in Kalamazoo County was stolen.

On Sept. 2, authorities say the 2012 Dodge Charger reached speeds of 114 mph before crashing at the intersection of E. Main Street and Sprinkle Road in Comstock Township. The vehicle hit a utility pole, then a tree and burst into flames.

A medical examiner’s office report shows the five teens were killed upon impact and not as result of the fire, according to a Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The cause of the crash has been determined to be due to an inexperienced teen driver traveling at an extremely high speed. Alcohol or drugs were not a factor, the release said.

Kalamazoo Township police say an officer parked on Fenimore Avenue near the E. Main Street intersection watched as a car going an estimated 100 mph passed him heading east on Main Street. The officer turned on his lights and sirens and attempted to catch up to the car, but lost sight of it shortly after.

The victims were identified as 15-year-old Cortavion Murphy, 15-year-old Jaqurius Hegler, 15-year-old Marshawn Williams, 16-year-old Elexus Hillsman and 17-year-old Deztanee Cobb.

Investigators determined the vehicle was stolen from Detroit in May 2016. There is no evidence to suggest that any of teens knew the car was stolen, according to the release.

Kalamazoo County sheriff’s deputies are continuing to work with the Detroit Police Department to find out how and why the stolen vehicle was in the Kalamazoo area.

Authorities said no criminal charges will be sought in connection to the crash, but the investigation into the stolen car is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office at 269.383.8748 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.