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Man Police Say Caused Fatal Crash, “I Wish It Was Me.”

Posted at 7:03 AM, Jun 26, 2013

Toddler Killed in Crash; 2 Other Children InjuredNELSON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A local toddler was killed after being thrown from a car during a crash in Cedar Springs Tuesday.

Police say the driver of the truck, 65-year-old John Heeringa II, was distracted by his dog.   They say he ran a stop sign at the intersection of Myers Lake Avenue and 17 Mile Road at around 10a.m., hitting the car carrying the 2-year-old and his family.

Oscar Zuniga died at the scene, 3-year-old Alex Salgado has minor injuries and 1-year-old Gretta Salgado suffered a head injury.  Their mother, 33-year-old Paula Zuniga has minor injuries.

Kent County Undersheriff Jon Hess says they were all in proper seats.

“They were all in a seat belt or child care seats in the back, they were all strapped in,” said Hess.

Now there are questions about the car seat Oscar was in.  Did it fail him and could it fail your child?

“I know those are questions people are asking and in these type of investigations we always look at everything, including the operations of a child safety seat, seat belts- any safety device in the car,” Hess said.

Some who live near the intersection where the crash happened say it’s dangerous and needs a stop light.  Hess says that will be part of the Sheriff’s Department’s investigation and could force changes.

FOX 17 spoke with the Heeringa’s son who says his father is beyond devastated, saying he wishes it was him instead of Oscar.  Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the accident.