OVERISEL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A 12-year-old boy was hospitalized in critical condition after being involved in a two-vehicle wreck in Allegan County Monday morning.
Aero Med took the boy, Travis Rouwhorst, to a Grand Rapids hospital. He remained listed in critical condition as of Monday night.
His 17-year-old brother, Justin Rouwhorst, was driving their car, and suffered serious injuries. He was taken to a Holland hospital. As of Monday evening, he was listed in fair condition.
The pickup truck driver, Douglas Lemoine, 49, suffered minor injuries. He is from the Hamilton area.
Police told 24 Hour News 8 at the scene that the teen was traveling south on 46th Street and did not stop at the stop sign at 140th Avenue in Overisel Township.
"There was no indication of pre-impact breaking on either vehicle on either vehicle," said Allegan County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Chris Kuhn. "It looks like the vehicle just blew the intersection and was struck by the passenger truck."
"It happened so fast. They came across the intersection. It was a split second. I just remember saying, 'No,'" said Lemoine. "I opened my eyes again and it was when it was flipping over."
The teen's car collided with the eastbound truck and the vehicles went off the road.
"It happened so fast. They came across the intersection. It was a split second," said Lemoine.
Travis Rouwhorst was seated in the right-rear passenger seat at the time of the crash.
Lemoine told 24 Hour News 8 he was at first angry about the crash, but then he heard shouts coming from the other car.
"I though he was hollering at me, so I said, 'What about the stop sign?' But then he kept hollering. He was crying. I was walking over to him and I realized there was a young boy in the back of the car and he was motionless," said Lemoine.
Rescue personnel arrived about 7:16 a.m. at the scene north of Hamilton.
"It's been very surreal around here today, knowing two of them are hurt pretty bad right now," Hamilton High School Principal Doug Braschler.
"The parents are doing as well as can be expected as far as dealing with what they're dealing with," said Hamilton Superintendent David Tebo.
"To know some of the pain that they've got, it's just overbearing at times. It's tough," said Braschler.
Sgt. Kuhn said despite the straight road and clear visibility, there seems to be many accidents in this area.
"If I drew a map on our county map with a push pin for every fatal or serious crash we had in this area, I couldn't fit all the pins in this area," he told 24 Hour News 8.
He said many of those crashes are caused by drivers failing to obey stop signs.
"This area's known for these intersections where people fail to stop at stop signs and we have T-bone crashes," said Kuhn. "Everybody's in a hurry to get from point A to point B and they miss stop signs out here in the country, and they cause crashes.
Kuhn said all of the victims, who are from Hamilton, were wearing seat belts at the time.
Investigators are still working to learn why the teen didn't stop at the stop sign.
Lemoine said police told him Justin could face some charges, but he said that's not something he wants to see. He stressed how impressed he was with the quick response of volunteer emergency crews.
"You hope and pray that people hear the message behind the scenes of just being careful when you're driving," said Braschler.
24 Hour News 8's Crystal Hilliard contributed to this report.
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