GRANT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An eighth-grader from Montague Middle School is dead and her father is critically injured after being hit by a farm truck in Oceana County.
It happened around 9:40 p.m. Monday on Webster Road, west of 72nd Avenue in Grant Township.
Authorities say a farm truck being driven by a 57-year-old Rothbury man hit the pair while they were walking their dog on the shoulder of the road.
Officials say 14-year-old Kaitlynn Scott died at the scene. Her father, Eric Scott, was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
“Surgery was performed overnight. We’re told that he’s in critical but stable condition at this point,” said 1st Lt. Jeffrey White of the Michigan State Police Hart Post.
State police are now trying to figure out exactly why the crash happened. They’re inspecting the six-wheel truck and its equipment.
They don’t believe the driver had been drinking or was on drugs, but detectives took his blood nonetheless and seized his cellphone as potential evidence.
“It appears that the truck did slightly leave the roadway and go onto the shoulder. For what reason, we have not been able to determine that yet,” White said.
A makeshift memorial sat near the scene Tuesday. It contained a cross, flowers, teddy bear and a note from a close friend.
“I already miss you… Everybody does,” it read in part.
“That family is forever changed. Father’s severely injured, don’t know what his prognosis is. They’ve lost their daughter. It’s a terrible tragedy,” White said.
In a Tuesday letter to parents, Montague Area Public Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Johnson confirmed Kaitlynn was a student of Montague Middle School. Her father is known in the district as “Coach Scott,” the superintendent said.
“Kaitlynn was an important part of our school and a friend to many. We are saddened by her loss, and our deepest sympathies are with her family and friends,” Johnson said in the letter.
The family’s dog was also killed in the crash, which remains under investigation. Police are still looking for any possible witnesses.
Anyone with information is asked to call the MSP Hart Post at 231.873.2171.