Hastings man, 59, killed, one in hospital after morning crash

Posted at 7:47 AM, Jan 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-26 08:24:13-05

CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A Hastings man is dead, and another man hospitalized, after a serious crash that involved two cars Monday morning.

Kent County Sheriff officials said the crash happened at 6:25 a.m. Monday in Caledonia Township on Whitneyville Avenue SE at 92nd Street SE. Officials told FOX 17 a Chevy Blazer was traveling northbound on Whitneyville Avenue SE as a Chevy Impala was headed westbound on 92nd Street SE and failed to stop at a stop sign, then struck the Blazer.

Authorities said the driver of the Blazer, a 48-year-old man from Middleville, was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the Impala, 59-year-old Thomas Robert Martino of Hastings, was killed.

No other passengers were in either vehicle, according to deputies.

At this point, investigators said it is too early to determine what caused this collision.

"It’s preliminary, but there’s no indication there was any alcohol involved in our on scene investigation," said Sgt. Thomas Raymond, with the Kent County Sheriff's Office. "Obviously the medical examiner’s office will complete a thorough investigation to determine if it was a medical-related incident, or if there was in fact drugs or alcohol involved.”

Neighbor Lon Vanderwal has lived at the intersection for 12 years. He told FOX 17 this violent crash woke him after the Impala came to rest in his driveway.

“Their car crashed so bad the horn was stuck in the on position, and that’s what first stirred me this morning," said Vanderwal.

Vanderwal said he sees an accident near the intersection of 92nd Street and Whitneyville Avenue SE about once every six months. This accident is a tragic reminder to keep his young children out of their front yard.

“They do all their playing and all their recreation in the back part of our property, it’s unfortunate it’s the way it has to be," said Vanderwal. "It’d be nice if they could utilize their front yard but on this property it’s a non-option.”

Initially, Aero Med was called to the scene after the crash but was called off.

Traffic was closed between 84th Street and 92nd Street SE on Whitneyville Avenue SE for about four hours while investigators examined the scene. Traffic is now open.