GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Relatives of both people killed in a fiery Kentwood crash following a police chase wept Wednesday as images of the aftermath were shown in court.
Jurors heard from 11 witnesses Wednesday in the trial of 17-year-old Alex Torrez. He faces 10 charges, including two counts of second-degree murder, in connection to the March 11 crash that killed Calvin College student Tara Oskam and Torrez’s passenger, his 15-year-old cousin, David Torrez.
Michigan State Police say Alex Torrez refused to stop when a trooper tried to pull him over for speeding on US-131. After about five minutes and seven miles, the chase ended when Alex Torrez ran a red light at 52nd Street and Broadmoor Avenue and slammed into Oskam’s vehicle.
David Torrez and Oskam were thrown from their respective vehicles and killed.
All the officers who responded to the scene testified Wednesday that they had never seen anything like it.
“One of the cars was torn in half, (there was) kid of chaos,” testified Life Ambulance paramedic Kyla Falk. “This is the worst car accident I’ve seen.”
“I’ve seen serious personal injury accidents like that, but that’s the worst thing I’ve seen this far,” said MSP Trooper Andrew Rothermal.
“I guess my description would be horrific. I’ve seen photos of Afghanistan and war zones and it looked like a bomb had gone off,” recounted MSP Lt. Gregory Poulson.
Jurors also viewed surveillance video of the fiery crash taken from a nearby Speedway gas station. A photo showed a partially crushed Budweiser beer can inside the Chrysler 300 Alex Torrez was driving.
David Torrez’s juvenile probation officer said the teenager was supposed be at the Muskegon River Youth Home the night of the deadly crash.
A traffic systems programmer testified that the light at the intersection was properly functioning before the crash.
Testimony is expected to resume at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Closing arguments are expected to begin Friday morning.