2013-05-02 / Front Page

Athlete, coach from Grayling golf team, woman die in Monday crash


SUPPORT IN A TIME OF NEED The Roscommon High School Student Council (pictured May 1) created a banner for RHS students to sign, giving messages of support to Grayling High School students. “Feel free to sign this banner in support of our brothers and sisters at GHS,” a sign read above the banner. Six members of the GHS golf team and one coach were involved in a fatal automobile accident on April 29. The accident resulted in the death of three people, including one GHS golf team member and the team’s coach. The student council also sent GHS a bouquet of flowers in both schools colors on April 30 and RHS has designated Friday as “green and white day” to show the school’s support. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) SUPPORT IN A TIME OF NEED The Roscommon High School Student Council (pictured May 1) created a banner for RHS students to sign, giving messages of support to Grayling High School students. “Feel free to sign this banner in support of our brothers and sisters at GHS,” a sign read above the banner. Six members of the GHS golf team and one coach were involved in a fatal automobile accident on April 29. The accident resulted in the death of three people, including one GHS golf team member and the team’s coach. The student council also sent GHS a bouquet of flowers in both schools colors on April 30 and RHS has designated Friday as “green and white day” to show the school’s support. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) Two members of the Grayling High School golf team and a Kalkaska woman were killed Monday in an accident in Kalkaska County.

In all, 10 people were involved in the accident.

A preliminary investigation conducted by the State Police showed that a white Ford Windstar van which was eastbound on County Road 612 (Nash Road) and a silver Ford Freestar van that was northbound on Crawford Lake Road NE, collided at the intersection of the two roads at approximately 11:25 a.m.

Both vehicles left the roadway on the northeast corner of the intersection, where the silver van, which was carrying seven members of the Grayling High School golf team, including the coach, appeared to have rolled over once and the other vehicle rolled over multiple times. A State Police press release on the date of the accident stated “at this time, it is unknown for certain if speed limits and/or traffic control devices were observed.”

Three victims were ejected from the silver van, including student athlete Louis Menard, 18, and Grayling golf Coach Jason Potter, 28, who were both fatally injured. Cassandra Stapleton, 27, of Kalkaska, a passenger in the white Windstar, which was driven by her mother Rhonda Mitchell, 45, of Kalkaska, was also fatally injured. The seven surviving crash victims were transported to Munson Hospital in Traverse City, where they were admitted in conditions that ranged from critical to fair.

Hospitalized were Grayling student athletes Tyler Summers, Dallas Johnson, Mason Krey, Jake Hinkle and Gunner Metzer, Mitchell and her three-year-old granddaughter, who was held for observation.

According to the State Police, the white van was on fire when troopers arrived on the scene. Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department, Excelsior/ Coldsprings Township Fire Department, Kalkaska Fire Department/Rescue and ground and air crews from Northflight EMS.

A community vigil will be held tonight (Thursday) at the Grayling Country Club, the home course of the Grayling golf team, at 6 p.m.

Roscommon High School golf Coach Mike Glover said the accident makes him think about the thousands of miles he and his team have driven to golf meets. “Our hearts go out to them,” said Glover.

The accident is under investigation.

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