Family of man killed in hit-and-run on M-43 said he was ‘an amazing person’

Posted at 7:21 PM, Oct 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-31 19:21:47-04

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. — Chelsey Dingman said one of the things she’ll miss about her stepbrother Keaton Dorman was his smile. He had a smile that could light up the world, she said. He had a great work ethic too, giving 100 percent to all he did especially to his two little girls.

“His babies are his life,” said Dingman during an interview at her home. “He would do anything for them.

Monday morning, Dorman was struck and killed in a hit-and-run, the day before his eldest daughter’s 8th birthday.  Van Buren County deputies said Dorman was killed in a hit-and-run while walking his dog along M-43. Around 8:30 a.m., a motorist noticed his dog running around and called 9-1-1. Police found Dorman deceased in ditch along the road.

“There’s nothing worse than wondering why they didn’t stop or why they just didn’t think about the person laying on the ground,” said Dingman.

Deputies are investigating exactly what time the hit-and-run happened. One deputy said he saw Dorman walking his dog around 1 a.m. However his body wasn’t discovered until seven hours later.

“We don’t know if he could’ve been saved,” said Dingman.  “We don’t know and that’s the biggest thing.”

Tuesday morning deputies released a description of the vehicle: a gold or tan-colored 2000 Ford Crown Vic or Grand Marquis with “substantial” damage to its passenger side.

“If you see a car like that, if you see any type of damage on a car that color, just call it in,” said Dingman. “No tip is a bad tip.”

Dingman said she’ll never forget when her mother told her the news. She broke down while on the phone. Her infant daughter crawled up to her and she held her tightly.

“I thought it was a lie. I thought it was like an April Fools Day joke,” said Dingman. “When I started reading up on stuff it was just like ‘No, this is real. My brother’s gone.’”

Dingman is now determined to keep her brother’s memory alive she said. Not just for herself and the family but for his two little girls.

“I always want him in their thoughts," she said. "I don’t want them to grow up thinking that they didn’t have a dad because they do and they always will.”