In murder trial, car wreck likened to train crash

Alex Torrez charged with murder in connection to March crash that killed 2

Alex Torrez
Alex Torrez enters the courtroom for the third day of testimony in his murder trial on Dec. 7, 2017.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Testimony wrapped up Thursday in the trial of Alex Torrez, accused of causing a deadly crash in Kentwood as he fled a Michigan State Police trooper.

Torrez, 17, faces 10 charges linked to the March 11 chase and crash, including two counts of second-degree murder.

MSP says Torrez, who was 16 at the time and doesn’t have a driver’s license, didn’t stop when a trooper tried to pull him over for speeding on US-131. The chase ended when Torrez ran a red light at 52nd Street and Broadmoor Avenue and slammed into Calvin College student Tara Oskam’s car. The wreck was violent, ripping one of the vehicles in half. Oskam and Torrez’s passenger, his 15-year-old cousin David Torrez, were killed.

On the third day of testimony in Torrez’s trial, jurors heard from crash experts, including MSP crash reconstruction specialist James Campbell. He said he had seen a wreck like this only a few times.

“The one I can think of offhand is a train,” he said. “A, you have to have a lot of speed, B, you have to have a lot of weight to create that amount of energy to do that. … I know there was a train one that I had and I believe there was also a semi-truck one that I had. But again, you’re talking loaded semis and high speed impacting something that’s smaller with lesser speed.”

Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning.