SOLON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A teenager died and two others were critically injured after their vehicle crashed on a Solon Township street, police said.
The car was traveling north on White Creek Road near 18 Mile Road at a high rate of speed around 8 a.m. Thursday, authorities said, when the driver lost control, causing the car to slam sideways into a tree.
The collision was so violent, authorities told 24 Hour News 8, that glass from the sunroof was found 20 feet up in the tree.
All three young men in the car are 16-year-old students at Cedar Springs High School.
The driver, Wyatt Phillips, was pronounced dead at the scene.
It took nearly 90 minutes to remove Sean Thompson, the rear-seat passenger on the driver's side, from the car. A medical helicopter took him to a hospital for treatment of injuries to his head and legs, but he was conscious and alert when he was moved. He was listed in serious condition as of Thursday night.
The other passenger in the car, Johnny Klaasen, was able to get himself out of the car. An ambulance took him to a hospital for treatment to a shoulder injury. He was released later in the day.
Police said all three occupants were wearing seat belts. Investigators believe speed was the cause of the accident.
Phillips played soccer for Cedar Springs High School.
The school started off its game Thursday night with a moment of silence and the coach reminding the players it was more than a game: It was for Phillips.
Cedar Springs started the game with only 10 players on the field. Phillips' spot was left empty.
Mitchell Hawes came to the game to honor Phillips, a long-time soccer player and his best friend.
"[He] Always made everybody laugh, lightened the mood no matter what happened. Just that kind of guy," Hawes told 24 Hour News 8.
Jacob Holtrop grew up next door to Phillips, played soccer with him, and wore his jersey number on the back of his shirt.
"He was just a fun-loving kid, if you felt down he'd make you feel better in an instant," said Holtrop. "I mean, it's just devastating what happened to him, and I give my prayers out to his family."
Hawes wrote some of his favorite memories in one of several notebooks that circulated throughout the crowd at the game so people could send their condolences to Phillips' family.
"It was just tough," Hawes said.
The victim driver could face charges, and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, police said.
Michigan authorities say this year's deer harvest appears to be down significantly from 2012 because of weather, disease and rule changes.
Thirty-three-year-old Ronald T. Smith II grew up in Warren.