Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

September 14, 2013

Charges possible following fatal crash near G.R.

TRAVERSE CITY — A Sparta driver who killed two Traverse City men in a multi-vehicle crash outside Grand Rapids could face criminal charges.

Michigan State Police are waiting on blood test results and phone records from the driver, 57, as part of their investigation into a crash that killed John Pomeroy, 49, and William Kochis, 29, on Tuesday. That information will be forwarded to prosecutors, who will decide whether to charge the man, authorities said.

A preliminary investigation showed the Sparta man crashed his Ford pickup into vehicles that were stopped because of a traffic backup on U.S. 131 south in Kent County’s Plainfield Township. Witnesses said the pickup driver traveled at a high rate of speed and did not brake before the accident. The impact caused a chain reaction crash that involve seven vehicles.

Pomeroy and Kochis rode together in the first vehicle hit by the pickup.

John Pomeroy’s daughter Rachel said the two men, both Aflac employees, were on their way to a downstate business meeting.

Rachel Pomeory, 23, described her father as a “family man” who would do anything for anyone. He thought of Kochis, whom everyone knew as Billy, as a best friend.

“Pretty much a son,” Rachel said.

Kochis, an Oxford native, leaves behind his wife Shannon and four children, all younger than six.

Billy Kochis was a fantastic father and a great husband, his friend Ryann Embury said.

“We really lost a good member of our community, which is just really heart-breaking,” Embury said.

Rachel Pomeroy said her family was very close to the Kochis family. The Pomeroys requested memorial contributions for John be made in care of Shannon Kochis for a college fund for the Kochis children.

“We love Shannon and we felt it was something my father would have wanted done in his name,” Rachel Pomeroy said.

Another death Thursday at Munson Medical Center marked at least the fourth traffic accident fatality in the Grand Traverse region since Tuesday.

Laneah Cheylava, 81, of Thompsonville, died following a two-vehicle car crash at the intersection of Springdale and Tomasek roads in northern Manistee County. George Cheylava, 90, of Thompsonville also died.



Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot