Lawyer: Driver who hit, killed boy ‘beating himself up’

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The case of a driver who hit and killed a 6-year-old boy on a bike last month is moving forward.

Matthew Klaasen was in court for the first time Thursday. Both Klaasen’s family and boy’s parents were at the hearing.

The incident happened on June 13 at the intersection of Laraway Lake Drive and Cascade Road in Cascade Township.

Ryan Marsman was riding his bike with his dad, a Cascade Township firefighter, when he was hit and killed.

Ryan Marsman
A courtesy photo of Ryan Marsman from his obituary.

On Wednesday, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker charged the 22-year-old with one count of a moving violation causing death.

Becker says it’s a type of charge that covers a lot of actions and that it’s important to wait until they have all the facts, like witness testimony and toxicology reports, before making a decision.

Klaasen told investigators he didn’t see the boy.

Jeff Crampton, Klaasen’s attorney, said Thursday’s arraignment was typical, but it will be a hard process moving forward.

“It’s obviously been very tough. I mean, it’s been probably not nearly as tough as it’s been on the Marsmans,” Crampton said. “But he (Klaasen) is beating himself up over this every day.”

If convicted, the maximum penalty is one year in jail and a suspended driver’s license.

Klaasen’s next court hearing hadn’t been scheduled as of Thursday afternoon.

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