Fatal hit-and-run driver charged in court

Crystal faces four charges.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed 33 year-old Meranda Baguss and injured her twin boys is facing multiple charges, according to jail records.

Douglas James Crystal, 36, is facing one count of reckless driving causing death and failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury serious accident, according to information from the Kent County Correctional Facility's records. He was booked at the jail on Sunday.

Crystal faces four charges in total: failure to stop at a scene of an accident when at fault resulting in death, reckless driving causing death, failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death and reckless driving causing serious impairment. 

He was arraigned on Monday, Sept. 18 in the 63rd District Court and is still being held at the Kent County Correctional Facility on a $500,000 cash surety bond. 

The hit-and-run crash happened on Friday night at the intersection of 15 Mile Road and Ritchie Avenue in Courtland Township.

Officials said Baguss was heading westbound on 15 Mile Road when her car was hit by a pickup truck going north on Ritchie Avenue. She died on scene and her twin 5-year-old boys, Chauncey and Tony Anthony III, were taken to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

According to Spectrum Health, Chauncey was still in critical condition as of 2 p.m. Monday and Tony was upgraded to serious condition. The boys attend Cedar Trails Elementary and have the full support of Cedar Springs Public Schools, said Dr. Laura VanDuyn, the superintendent. 

"This is a great community, great district of support," VanDuyn said. "And they will surround these little boys...with everything they can offer them to support not only their academic needs, but everything they need socially and emotionally with this great loss."

Baguss was a nursing assistant at Butterworth Hospital, and a spokesperson said Spectrum's thoughts and prayers are with the family. 

The family has a GoFundMe page to raise money that will go towards funeral expenses and medical bills. 

The driver of the truck ran from the scene, leaving behind his truck. Investigators said that alcohol may have been a factor in the crash. 

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

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