PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Ottawa County sheriff's deputies arrested three suspects thought to be in two vehicles that struck a 24-year-old father in the early hours of Easter Sunday.
Joshua Owens died when he was hit after stepping out of the Itty Bitty Bar on 1136 Ottawa Beach Road in Park Township around 1 a.m.
Owens' loved ones pleaded Sunday morning for the drivers of the vehicles to come forward. Late Sunday afternoon, they got their wish when deputies arrested the alleged drivers and a passenger at a private residence in Ottawa County's Park Township.
The alleged drivers -- a male and a female in their 20s -- are expected to be arraigned Monday on charges related to their failure to stop at the scene of the crash.
The third person, a passenger, was arrested on an outstanding unrelated warrant out of Colorado.
"It gives us great relief," said Owens' father-in-law Brian Brown, crediting the "aggressiveness" of Owens' family and friends and the "great work" of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.
"We worked the case throughout the night and morning, the break came in an alert citizen who spotted the cars in a driveway and called," Lt. Steve Kemper said in an email.
That tip, Kevin Lisa says, came from him. Lisa was out making a delivery early Sunday when he came upon the crash that killed Owens. He later read the full story online, learning that the father of a 3-year-old girl had been killed and authorities were looking for the people responsible.
Lisa decided he was going to help. Sunday morning, he drove around looking for the cars -- and after about 20 minutes, he said, he found them.
He called the sheriff's department to report where he had seen the cars and then he left the scene.
Lisa said he later got a return call from someone at the sheriff's department, who thanked him for his help and informed him three people had been arrested.
"I'm really glad that it ended up working out. That they ended up finding the people and arresting them. That puts the family at rest a little bit," said Lisa.
Lisa said he knows there is a reward for helping to find the people responsible, but he doesn't want it. He would rather the money go to Owens' family to help pay for funeral expenses.
Owens had been celebrating his wife's birthday at the bar, Brown said. He said Owens was headed to an ATM to get cash for a cab ride home when he was struck.
"He was heading across the street to the ATM because he didn't want to drink and drive," said Brown.
Investigators say witnesses reported that the two vehicles that hit Owens -- initially described as a late 1990s, dark blue BMW and an early 2000s, light-colored Audi -- were speeding as they drove westbound on Ottawa Beach Road.
Owens was walking across the street with a family member when he was hit. The family member was ahead of Owens when the incident happened.
"She turned around and just instantly saw it happen," Brown said. "She said [the cars] were racing."
Longtime friend Ryan VandenBosch said it's difficult to know that the people who hit Owens "are enjoying Easter Sunday with their families right now while Josh's family mourns."
"Josh has done nothing but try to be a great father and husband for years," said VandenBosch. "This can't stand!"
Owens has a 3-year-old daughter and was studying business administration at Cornerstone University. He was also working at Randy's Carpet Care in Holland and starting a car detailing business with his brother.
"He was a good person," Brown said. "Just had a good head on his shoulders. ...Very much a family man."
Friends and family said they had started doing their own investigative work toward finding out who hit Owens.
"We put the word out on Facebook and hopefully the word keeps getting out and these people will be found," Brown said Sunday morning.
"They have absolutely nowhere to hide," said VandenBosch.
Owens' family says he did not have life insurance and they're looking for help to make final arrangements for him.
24 Hour News 8's Tom Hillen contributed to this report.
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