'He had a contagious laugh,' family and friends remember Jared Pilczuk

Teen mourned after crash

KENT COUNTY, MICH. - A community is mourning the loss of a well known and well liked teenager, who was kill in a car crash on Thursday. 

Authorities say 18-year-old Jared Pilczuk's car was struck Thursday night after he failed to yield the "right of way" while turning onto Cannonsburg Road, from Egypt Valley in Cannon township. Pilczuk's 14-year-old brother, Nick was in the car and is in the hospital with serious injuries. Jared died at the scene. 

Kathryn Pilczuk, described her brother, Jared, as a wonderful young man with a contagious laugh about to graduate from high school. Church leaders reiterated those words Friday evening as they try to come to terms with the tragedy.

"I had actually seen it on the news first and prayed it wasn't one of ours," Kevin Varner, Principal of Our Lady Consolation School, said. Its a K-8 school where Jared Pilczuk attended and his young brother, Nick, currently attends. 

Nick was a passenger in Thursday's crash, he was rushed to the hospital where he remains in intensive care. 

"We will do whatever it takes to help them get through this difficult moment," Father Tony Russo with Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, said.  Father Russo told WZZM 13 Jared was a parishioner and was admired by many. 

"A great kid of course, a kid everyone looked up to, he was definitely a leader, a strong man with great faith," he said. 

Faith, what many are trying to hold on to as the church held a rosary prayer Friday evening for the Pilczuk family.

"It's hard to believe that one of our own would be called home today, our hearts are in sorrow, this community, we're struggling," Father Russo, said. "But in moments of sorrow, moments of difficulty, we need our faith, we need our God, our Lord, the one who consoles and strengthens us." 

The driver in the other car of the crash was treated for minor injuries. The incident remains under investigation. 

As for Nick, family members tell WZZM 13 he is still in intensive care but is expected to recover slowly.

They have yet to schedule funeral arrangements for Jared.

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