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Tag Archive | "Chauncey"

Sand Lake mother killed in fatal crash


Meranda Baguss and her 5-year-old twin boys were victims of a hit-and-run crash on Friday, September 15 that took her life and put her boys in critical condition. Photo from gofundme.com

by Lois Allen

The suspect in the fatal hit-and-run is in custody while two 5-year-old boys are recovering from critical injuries and facing a long road to recovery without their mother who died in a Friday night crash.

Douglas James Crystal, 36, of Cedar Springs, is facing multiple charges including reckless driving causing death and failure to stop at the scene of a serious personal injury accident, according to Kent County Correctional Facility.

Douglas Crystal fled the scene of the crash leaving the totaled truck behind. Deputies searched the area and were unable to locate Crystal. Photo courtesy of woodtv.com

According to officials, the crash happened around 8:23 p.m., Friday, September 15 at the intersection of 15 Mile Road and Ritchie Avenue in Courtland Township.

Authorities said Crystal was traveling northbound at a high rate of speed on Ritchie Avenue when his pick-up truck blew the stop sign at 15 Mile Road and slammed into a vehicle heading westbound on 15 Mile Road.

Meranda Baguss, 33, of Sand Lake was on her way to meet the father of the two boys in Byron Township driving a 2011 Ford Fusion when her vehicle was broadsided by the 2015 Ford F150 pick-up truck. It was estimated that the pick-up was traveling at approximately 90 miles per hour. Baguss was killed instantly and pronounced dead at the scene. Both boys, who were in the back seat in their car seats, were critically injured. Five-year-olds Chauncey and Tony Anthony III, were taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids with life-threatening head injuries.

The twins remain in recovery without their mother and were listed in critical but stable condition surrounded by family on Sunday. They had just started kindergarten at Cedar Trails Elementary in Cedar Springs.

“She’s a beautiful young lady, she was sweet and she loved her babies,” said grandfather Tony Anthony Sr. “They meant the world to her and now we have to decide how to tell them that their mother has been taken away from them.”

Baguss was a certified nursing assistant for Spectrum Health. “She took care of others and she took care of her own. She was great,” said Anthony Sr.

Crystal fled the scene of the crash leaving the totaled truck behind. Deputies searched the area with multiple canine units and were assisted by the Michigan State Police Helicopter for several hours but were unable to locate Crystal. Police say alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

“For someone to just do what he did and then leave, just discard them like waste, is horrible,” Anthony Sr. said. “It’s unspeakable.”

Acting on a tip, Kent County authorities located and arrested Crystal taking him into custody where he is facing multiple charges. He was arraigned on Monday, September 18.

Cedar Springs Superintendent Laura VanDuyn said the district is working to support the family and that counselors will be made available.

A gofundme page has been established at https://www.gofundme.com/jn5a88-meranda-baguss-tony-chauncey. All proceeds will go to Meranda’s family for funeral expenses and if there is any left over, will go towards the boys medical expenses.

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