'It felt like a bomb went off': Witness recounts wrong-way U.S. 131 crash

Allegan wrong-way crash follow-up

ALLEGAN COUNTY, MICH. - A Plainwell man is lucky to be alive after he was hit by a driver going the wrong-way last Sunday. The crash happened on US-131 Sunday night by the 129th Avenue exit near Gun Lake Casino.

"It felt like a bomb went off in front of me. I felt it through my truck," Tylor Bailey said as he recalled the crash. Bailey was driving on US-131 Sunday night on his way home. 

"I see headlights coming up over a bend in the highway, I hit my brakes, I see him hit his brake like 10 feet back, they hit impact at about 70 [miles per hour]." 

Bailey was driving behind Alex Wieland, the 22-year-old unable to avoid the wrong way driver coming at him.

"It happened so fast, you almost don't have time to think." 

Police identified the wrong way driver as 29-year-old Sean Barone. He died from his injuries at an area hospital. Police believe alcohol was a factor.

More than a handful of officers, Bailey, and a truck driver worked to get Wieland out of his car that caught fire. They eventually were successful. Wieland was rushed to the hospital. 

According to a GoFundMe page for Wieland he suffered a leg injury, several broken bones, and concussion-like symptoms. Since then, he's been transferred to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital to continue his recovery.

"To me, its like he took a hit for me because I don't know if I would be here," Bailey said. "I don't know if there's a group of traffic behind me that could end up worse, so I have to thank him." 

Bailey says he will thank Wieland by donating to his GoFundMe page to help pay for his medical bills. 

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