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MSP: Drugs may have been factor in crash that killed man in Berrien County

MSP strobe daytime Michigan State Police file photo
Posted at 1:42 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 15:42:12-04

ORONOKO TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Michigan State Police Niles Post troopers are investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash from earlier this week.

It happened about 8:30 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Shawnee and Garr roads in Oronoko Township, according to a news release Friday.

MSP’s preliminary investigation revealed a black Saturn SUV truck was traveling northbound on Garr Road and did not stop at the stop sign.

When the truck entered the intersection, it hit a red Toyota passenger car that was traveling westbound on Shawnee Road in the right-away.

The driver of the passenger car died at the scene and was identified as 66-year-old Justo Morales of De Kalb, Illinois.

His passenger – and wife – a 66-year-old woman also from De Kalb, suffered severe injuries and was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana.

The driver of the truck, a 19-year-old Benton Harbor man, and his passenger, a 20-year-old woman also from Benton Harbor, were transported to Lakeland Spectrum Hospital in St. Joseph with no reported injuries.

MSP suspects drugs to have been a factor regarding the driver of the truck.

He was arrested and lodged at the Berrien County Jail pending charges and arraignment.

Troopers say Morales was, in fact, wearing a seat belt, contrary to earlier reports, as did all occupants involved.

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