COLDWATER (WTVB) - No serious injury traffic accidents have been reported in Branch County by the various local police agencies on this Fourth of July holiday weekend. However, at least two people have been killed in separate crashes in West Michigan. In Van Buren County, deputies are blaming distracted driving for a car-pedestrian collision that took the life of an 18-year from Chicago. They say the young woman was standing in the middle of 68th street in dark clothing at the time of the incident. According to deputies, 18-year-old Charles Carrigan of Kalamazoo was actually driving well below the speed limit, looking at his GPS in patchy fog just after midnight Friday morning when he swerved to avoid one girl at the side of the road and struck the fatal victim. She was taken to South Haven Community Hospital, then airlifted to Bronson in Kalamazoo but did not survive her injuries. The prosecutor will review the investigation to determine if charges are warranted. Meanwhile, 23-year-old Zachary Oudman from Hudsonville was killed and a 19-year-old from White Pigeon was injured when the younger man drove their pick-up into the rear of a semi parked alongside U.S. 131 near Martin Wednesday afternoon. Charges may also result from that collision.
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