Van Buren Twp. teen charged in crash that killed one, injured three others

A teen has been charged in connection with a vehicle crash that claimed the life of a Van Buren Township woman and injured three others last year, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday.

The Van Buren Township teen, whose name was not released because he is charged in juvenile court, is charged with second-degree murder and reckless driving causing serious bodily injury in a Feb. 7 crash that killed Chataya Jayana Thurman, 20, of Van Buren Township. Injured in the crash were an 18-year-old Van Buren Township woman and a 56-year-old and a 51-year-old man, both from Ypsilanti. 

The driver's age was not immediately clear.

The head-on crash occurred around 6:30 p.m. in the area of Belleville Road between Ecorse and Robson roads in Van Buren Township. 

The teen was allegedly driving south on Belleville Road at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed into the northbound lanes of Belleville Road and struck another vehicle. 

Once police arrived, they found Thurman unresponsive and trapped in the rear of the teen's vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The second teen and the remaining two victims were transported to a hospital for treatment. 

The teen is "adult designated," according to prosecutors, which allows a judge the option of sentencing him as a juvenile or as an adult, or "fashion a blended juvenile sentence with the option of imposing an adult sentence if the juvenile is not rehabilitated," Worthy's office said in a statement.

The teen was arraigned Wednesday and his bond was set at $10,000/10%, he was ordered to have no contact with victims, no possession of weapons, and no illegal drug use.

A preliminary examination is scheduled for March 21 before Judge Edward Joseph.