2 killed in US 31 crash.

September 11, 2019

2 killed in US 31 crash.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

PENTWATER TOWNSHIP – A 52-year-old South Bend, Indiana man and his 26-year-old daughter died in a single-vehicle crash on US 31 near Pentwater Tuesday night, Sept. 10, according to Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast.

The pair were northbound on US 31 north of Hammett Road shortly before 10 p.m. when the 2013 GMC Yukon they were traveling in crossed the left lane; drifted off the left side of the road; and struck a tree, Mast said.

Passenger Casey Emmons of Lakeville, Indiana – a paraplegic – was pronounced dead at the scene. Driver Mark Hezlep was transported by Aeromed to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids where he was later pronounced dead.

“They were headed to Ludington for a charter fishing trip,” Mast said.

It’s possible Hezlep may have fallen asleep at the wheel, he said. Both were wearing their seat belts.

A truck driver came upon the wreckage and called 911.

Responding to the scene were the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Pentwater Police Department, Pentwater Fire Department, Mason County Sheriff’s Office Accident Reconstruction Team, Pentwater Rescue, Hart Area Fire Department, Life EMS and Aeromed.

Hart Area FD’s Jaws of Life extricated at least of one the crash victims.

Northbound US 31 was closed for several hours in the vicinity of the crash.

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