Two-sport athlete at Wayland Union High School dies in crash

Posted at 11:32 PM, Jul 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 21:57:03-04

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich.  — The Wayland community is mourning after a 17-year-old man was killed in a two-vehicle crash Friday night in southern Kent County.

The location was Wilson Avenue at 92nd Street SW, in Byron Township. The time was around 6:33 p.m. Friday.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office says Ethan Mutschler was killed in the crash. He was a senior on the Wayland Union High School football and basketball teams.

There was an outpouring of emotion in several social-media posts after news spread of Mutschler’s death. Dan Cassini, a trustee on the Wayland Union Schools board of education, posted on Facebook that “Ethan was a very special young man, much more than one of our football/basketball players.

“He touched so many and left a great impression on everyone that knew him in his too short a life.”

A Twitter site, “This is Wayland”, posted that “Mutschler was perhaps best known as a three-year starter on the offensive line for the Wildcat varsity football team and as a member of the varsity basketball team. He was a good-sized red-headed young man at 6-7 and more than 200 pounds”.

The Sheriff’s Office says in a news release a preliminary investigation shows Mutschler was driving a Ford Taurus eastbound on 92nd Street when he stopped for the stop sign at Wilson Avenue, and then proceeded into the intersection. “A southbound Volvo on Wilson struck the Taurus, killing the driver of the Taurus.”

No one else was in his vehicle.

Police say alcohol was not involved, and the investigation continues. The 19-year-old driver of the Volvo, Coulter Rounds of Byron Center, suffered minor injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Office.  Both young men were wearing seatbelts.

Besides the Sheriff’s Office, Wayland Police, Byron Township Fire-Rescue, AMR ambulance and the Kent County Road Commission responded to the crash.