Van Buren County investigators catch driver in fatal hit-n-run crash

Posted at 8:32 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 20:32:08-05

PAW PAW, Mich. — Last Wednesday, deputies with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office were investigating the hit-and-run that left one man dead. Two days later they caught a break in the case, said Sheriff Dan Abbott.

“We got a break Friday evening at about 10 o’clock at night,” Sheriff Abbott said during an interview at headquarters. “One of our road sergeants happened to be in Bangor [and] come up to an intersection, seen a car with damage matching the description.”

Sheriff Abbott said the investigation began on Wednesday when a car struck and killed 55-year-old Brian Keith Perry on County Road 378 at 7:30 p.m. The driver, a 21-year-old man, sped off. However, he left some evidence behind.

“We actually recovered some car parts from [the scene]," Sheriff Abbott said. "The next morning we’re able to trace [it] back that it came back to a 2011 Dodge Journey. So we knew what kind of vehicle we were looking for.”

Sheriff Abbott said when the sergeant stopped at the intersection on Friday, he spotted the vehicle, recognized the damage and pulled him over.

“After the sergeant made contact with him he was very forthcoming with information and cooperated the whole time,” Sheriff Abbott said.

No arrests have been made, he said. The driver could be looking at charges of  leaving the scene of a fatality and failure to report a crash. However, he said the crash serves as a reminder that all drivers are required by law to call police after any crash.

“Even if you’re not sure what you hit, you’re still required when you damage your vehicle to stop and call the police so that we can come out an investigate it,” Sheriff Abbott said.