Victims identified in Kalamazoo River crash

BATTLE CREEK, MICH - Excessive speed was a factor in a crash Friday in which two people died when their car rolled into the Kalamazoo River.

Late Friday Battle Creek police identified the victims at Marcus Parsons, 31, the driver and his passenger, Deshauta Marshall, 30, both of Battle Creek.

Police said Friday evening they still are trying to determine how fast the car was traveling when it left westbound Dickman Road about  4:11 a.m. and struck the Capital Avenue bridge before sliding into the concrete channel.

The car was pulled from the river near the Treehouse Foods plant between McCamly and Washington streets.

Lt. James Martens said the two men were found dead inside. Autopsies on the bodies were expected either late Friday or Saturday by the Calhoun County Medical Examiners office.

Martens said a police department sergeant was on patrol and driving east on Dickman Road when he saw a flash of light. As he approached the intersection with Capital Avenue he found debris from the crash and saw the car floating in the river.

The car stopped on its top just east of the Washington Street bridge, where crews attached cables and pulled it from the water and found both men dead inside.

Lt. Matt Robinson said Friday afternoon that the car was believed to be westbound on Dickman Road when it left the roadway and struck the bridge. Debris was scattered throughout the intersection and on both sides of the channel.

Emergency responders from Battle Creek police and Battle Creek Fire Department and the Calhoun County Sheriff Department were at the scene along with LifeCare Ambulance paramedics and divers from the sheriff department. Emmett Township Department of Public Safety put a boat in the river and conducted a search the length of the channel.

Robinson said accident reconstructionists from the Battle Creek Police Department were working to determine the speed of the car by assessing the damage to the vehicle and from information contained in the crash data recorder removed from the vehicle. Crime Lab Supervisor Sgt. Brett Weiss said the recorder will have to dry before data can be recovered.

Robinson said speed was a factor even though police don't know yet how fast the car was traveling.

"It was going very fast or it was going very, very fast," he said.

It's the third time in six months that a vehicle has crashed near the Dickman-Capital intersection and came five days after another car was recovered after having been submerged in the river since March 4. The driver of that car, believed to be Cortez Lewis, has not been found.

In October a westbound car on Dickman Road crashed into the river and was recovered near Washington Avenue. The driver of that car was rescued by a Battle Creek police officer who went into the water.

© Battle Creek Enquirer


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