Teen Reportedly on Way to Pick Up Mom Killed in Weather-Related Crash After Car Hit by Tree Limb

·2 min read
Car accident scene
Car accident scene


A 17-year-old boy was killed in a crash on Wednesday after a tree fell on his vehicle during a storm.

The driver, identified as Landen Taggart from Dowagiac, Mich., was driving on Peavine Street in Cass County around 4:30 p.m., when "a large tree limb fell on the vehicle,'' police said in a news release.

"This limb damaged the cab of the vehicle, spinning the limb in the roadway, while the vehicle continued west bound," police wrote. The vehicle "then struck another tree on the side of the road."

CBS affiliate WWMT reported that investigators say strong winds caused the tree limb to fall.

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When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, they found Taggart, who was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, dead from his injuries.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office said that the crash was still under investigation, but that drugs and alcohol are not suspected.

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The teenager, who had recently gotten his license, was "going to pick up his mom at work," at the time of the fatal crash, a family friend told WWMT.

The 17-year-old would have been a senior year at Dowagiac Union High School in the fall, the outlet reported.

"Our prayers, support, and condolences go out to his family and friends," Dowagiac Union Schools Superintendent Jonathan Wran said in a statement, according to WWMT.

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A Cass County Road Commission official told the outlet that about three dozen trees came down across the county as severe thunderstorms caused damage throughout western Michigan on Wednesday, reported WWMT.

The Cass County Road Commission did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.