Man Facing Fatal Reckless Driving Charge in Van Buren Co.

Posted at 6:57 PM, Feb 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-20 22:01:11-05

Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 6.57.53 PMVAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (Feb. 20, 2014) — A 24-year-old Lawton man is facing several felony charges for a fatal October 2013 incident in Almena Township.

According to a Thursday release, Seth Richard Jones is charged with reckless or negligent driving causing death, failing to report a personal injury or fatal traffic crash and operating a vehicle without insurance or security.

Jones and Dakota Kearns, 23, were allegedly driving around in Van Buren Co. Oct. 18 stealing street signs.

Van Buren deputies say Kearns was riding on the roof of Jones’ vehicle when he fell off and hit his head on the ground in the area of County Road 653 and 42nd Avenue.

According to a release, Kearns was dropped off at a Kalamazoo County hospital, where medical examiners were told he had been injured after falling down a flight of stairs.

Kearns later died from his injuries, and detectives later determined that they were not consistent with falling down stairs.  Investigators spoke to Jones, and they said he admitted to the driving incident that killed his friend.

The prosecutor’s office issued a felony warrant in the case, and Jones turned himself in earlier this week.

He is currently out of jail on bond.