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Tag Archive | "Meranda Baguss"

Should 15 Mile and Ritchie intersection be a four-way stop?


Meranda Baguss was killed at the intersection of 15 Mile and Ritchie in September when a pickup ran the stop sign. Photo from gofundme.com.

By Judy Reed

On September 15, 2017, a young Cedar Springs mother, Meranda Baguss, 31, was killed and her twin five-year-old boys critically injured when a pickup truck ran the stop sign at Ritchie and 15 Mile and slammed into her vehicle. Since then, and even before the crash, that intersection has been a topic of complaint among residents. One person related that she recently slowed down as she reached the intersection, and witnessed another pickup truck blow through the stop sign. She was glad she slowed down, especially with having her two young grandchildren in the car. After hearing this, the Post decided to contact the Kent County Road Commission to find out if the intersection qualified for some type of traffic control upgrade.

Maura Lamoreaux, spokesperson for the Kent County Road Commission, explained how the system works. “Although it seems logical that traffic control modifications would improve the safety of an intersection, it is not always the case. In some instances, the traffic control change serves to only alter the type of crashes that occur and can potentially increase the number or severity of accidents,” she explained. “Therefore, it is essential that KCRC investigates each accident thoroughly, works with law enforcement to determine causation, and follows federally-mandated warrants regarding modifications to traffic control.”

Lamoreaux said that after the accident that occurred at the 15 Mile Road and Ritchie Avenue intersection in September, KCRC conducted a crash site investigation, as is procedure for crashes involving serious injury or fatality. “This investigation included performing an updated traffic study for the intersection. The study included analysis of both traffic volume and crash history to determine if specific warrants were met to modify traffic control. These warrants are defined in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) published by the Federal Highway Administration and serve as the criteria that must be fulfilled for road agencies to implement a traffic control modification. Based on the warrant study conducted, neither volume levels nor crash numbers/patterns meet warrant criteria for a traffic control modification,” she said.

Lamoreaux said that the most recent traffic counts at this intersection indicate that the volumes are about a quarter of the required volumes.

“The accident warrant in the MUTCD states that a 4-way stop may be considered if there have been 5 or more correctable accidents in a 12-month period. Correctable accidents include right-angle, right-turn, and left-turn accidents. Over the last 5-¾ years (2012-September 2017) there have been 3 correctable (angle-type) crashes; this averages to less than 1 per year,” she explained. 

Lamoreaux added that there are currently “Stop Ahead” signs in each direction on Ritchie Avenue and intersection warning signs in both directions on 15 Mile Road.

The Kent County Road Commission will continue to monitor the intersection for changes that would warrant traffic control modification, she said.

 

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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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MERANDA LYNN BAGUSS


Meranda Lynn Baguss, 33 of Sand Lake, died Friday, September 15, 2017 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Meranda was born August 17, 1984 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2003 and was attending Montcalm Community College. She had worked at Spectrum Health Butterworth on 7-South for 10 years. She was a beautiful mother, very kind hearted and always put others ahead of herself. She will be greatly missed. Surviving are her twin sons, Tony Lee Anthony III, Chauncey James Anthony; significant other, Tony Lee Anthony II; mother, Jamie Fischer; sisters, Kimberly Brassel, Jenna Worthy; grandfather, Jerry Baguss; aunts, uncles and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Gay Baguss. The family will greet friends today, Thursday, September 21 from 5-7 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the time will conclude with a service at 7:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to a gofundme for expenses at https://www.gofundme.com/jn5a88-meranda-baguss-tony-chauncey

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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