Witnesses recall close call in high-speed chase

Posted at 11:38 PM, Mar 12, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Sunday evening, a prayer service was held in Tara Oskam's honor at the chapel at Calvin College. That's where she was studying speech pathology and lived in campus apartments with friends.

Oskam, 21, died Saturday night after a vehicle trying to outrun police collided with her car in Kentwood. The passenger in the suspect's vehicle also died.

Today, the school’s president issued a statement. In it, Michael Le Roy called Oskam 'a gifted student, a campus leader, and someone who was loved and admired by many.'

Her boyfriend, Chad Beisel, is also mourning her loss. He said today would have marked "1 and a half years” that they’ve been together.

As police investigate that crash, FOX 17 heard from a family who was visiting the area from Farmington Hills. The Bussey's said they had a close call with the high speed chase.

"Hearts and prayers out to the families," Scott Bussey said.

His wife Christine added, "Yes. It just makes us sad."

The couple said they saw the speeding vehicle drive past them just moments before the crash. That's after they had some issues with their own vehicle.

"This weird, obscure red light goes off on our dash[board]. Don't know what it is, so we pull off on a subdivision before Breton and 52nd," Scott recalled

They said they've never seen the red light before. A quick search online turned up nothing serious, so the family continued on their way in their minivan. Christine decided to drive in the right lane as a precaution.

"And as we passed Breton Road, maybe within a hundred feet, 200 feet all of a sudden this car just flies by us going at least 80-plus miles an hour," Scott described.

Christine said, "We were going 45 or so, just starting to catch up to the speed limit."

"The car was literally, from the speed and the closeness of the car flying by, it literally rocked the van," Scott said.

They said a police cruiser followed at a high speed.

"Within another minute, another three police cruisers flying by," he said, "And we're just about to go over a hill, and I see them entering the beginning of the intersection and then at moment we lose visibility for a little bit, come up, and there's a bright light. I mistook it for some kind of lighting, but I later find out it's the fires from the vehicles."

The police chase ended deadly. Michigan State Police said an innocent driver, 21-year-old Tara Oskam, was hit by the suspect.
Authorities said the car being chased avoided a traffic stop. The passenger in the suspect’s vehicle also died.

Had the light in their van not come on, the Bussey's feel they may not be sitting here today, and they said the light hasn't come back on ever since.

"I've got faith in God. I believe he was watching out for us," Christine said.

"We're thankful, but we send our prayers out for the family of that girl. Awful," she added.

Investigators have not released the name of the passenger who died in the suspect’s car. As for that driver, we’re told they were hospitalized but are expected to survive. So far, police have not said what they were trying to stop that driver for.