Sheriff: Deputy did not use lights, siren in crash that killed boy
The Calhoun County Sheriff's department held a press conference Wednesday morning regarding the death of an 11-year-old Battle Creek Public Schools student.
The boy was struck by a Calhoun County Sheriff's Office patrol car Tuesday night while riding on a pocket bike and was not wearing a helmet, Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Saxton said.
He was rushed to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, where he was later pronounced dead.
The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office said the boy was riding the bike around 9:30 p.m. on Michigan Ave., near Lennon St., where he was hit by the deputy's cruiser in Springfield.
Saxton said the sheriff's department is in contact with the parents of the child and that the parents are grieving.
Saxton said based on the information he has at this time, it appears the boy turned in front of the patrol car.
Saxton tells WWMT-TV the death is "heartbreaking" and he believes it was accidental. He said the deputy was responding to a burglary in progress in the nearby city of Springfield, but the vehicle didn't have its emergency lights activated at the time of the crash.
Both vehicles were going westbound, Saxton told press.
The Sheriff told press this was an incident nobody would want to deal with.
"This is a tragic incident that no human wants to be involved with," Saxton said.
Saxton said the minibike wasn't illuminated with lights and was not made to be driven on the roadway.
The deputy was taken to Bronson Battle Creek Hospital to be evaluated but was not injured, police said.
The deputy has worked with law enforcement for over 20 years, Saxton said.
An autopsy has been performed on the boy, and law enforcement are waiting for toxicology results.
Sheriff Saxton said there is no indication that the toxicology report would come back negative.
Names are still being withheld at this time.
The accident investigation has been turned over to the Michigan State Police Marshall Post, and the Calhoun County Sheriff's department will be doing an internal investigation into the incident after that.
The deputy's decision not to activate his vehicle's overhead lights and siren prior to fatally striking the boy on a minibike will be part of the internal review.
In terms of where to go from here, Saxton said at this time they are waiting on the outcome of the Michigan State Police's investigation.