Traverse City Record-Eagle

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May 2, 2013

Five still hospitalized after Kalkaska crash

KALKASKA — Two survivors of a two-vehicle, fatal collision in Kalkaska County were released from Munson Medical Center, but five remain hospitalized.

Michigan State Police Capt. Robert Lesneski said investigators are trying to get statements from survivors and witnesses as they reconstruct the Monday accident crash that included a minivan carrying six members of the Grayling High School golf team.

“Some of the victims don’t have the wherewithal to make statements,” Lesneski said. “We need to get statements.”

The crash occurred Monday morning when a Grayling High School minivan driven by head coach Jason Potter, 31, collided with another minivan driven by Rhonda Mitchell, 45, of Kalkaska.

Michigan State Police released the names Wednesday of the all the victims in the crash.

The crash killed Potter, Grayling High School senior Louis Menard, 18, and Cassandra Stapleton, 27, of Kalkaska. Seven survivors were hospitalized at Munson Medical Center.

Gunner Metzer, 16, is the first Grayling High School golf team member to be released from the hospital. Hospital spokesman Dale Killingbeck did not have information on when Metzer was released. Mitchell’s 3-year-old granddaughter, who was uninjured in the crash but still hospitalized, also was released.

Mitchell was listed in fair condition as of Wednesday.

Golf team members Tyler Summers and Jacob Hinkle, both 16, were in critical and serious condition, respectively, as of Wednesday. Their teammates Dallas Johnson, 15, and Mason Krey, 17, were listed in fair condition. Their ages are based on date-of-birth information provided by state police.

Lesneski said some witnesses reported seeing one van speeding and the other failing to stop at the intersection, but investigators need to verify information through official statements.

He said state police crash reconstructionists are using data collected at the crash scene and from both vehicles to reenact the accident. Their study includes information from vehicle computers about which victims were wearing seatbelts and cell phone records.

“There’s some technical things we need to do,” Lesneski said.

A vigil for Grayling High School golf team is set for today at 6 p.m. at the Grayling Country Club.

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