The Midland County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a two-vehicle fatal traffic crash that claimed the life of an 18-year-old West Branch man and a 22-year-old Gratiot County woman. The crash took place on S. Meridian Road just north of E. Freeland Road in Porter Township at approximately 4:31 pm on Friday, October 8, 2021.
The investigation indicates that Samuel Neve of West Branch was driving a silver 2010 Dodge Avenger northbound on South Meridian Road with Gracie Hatton of Gratiot County as a passenger. It is believed that Neve lost control of his vehicle on the wet roadway, causing it to cross the center line and into the path of a black 2019 Ford F250 that was traveling southbound on South Meridian Road resulting in the crash.
Samuel Neve and Gracie Hatton were pronounced deceased at the scene. The lone occupant of the Ford F250 was uninjured.
All three involved parties were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. The air bags deployed in both vehicles.
While there is no evidence to indicate that alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in this crash, investigators are awaiting toxicology reports for a final determination. The report will be forwarded to the Midland County Prosecutor’s Office for review once it has been completed.
Midland County Sheriff’s Office personnel were assisted at the scene by the Michigan State Police and their 3rd District Accident Reconstruction Team, Midland Township Fire Department, Mid-Michigan EMS, and the Midland County Road Commission.