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Michigan Army veteran dies in motorcycle crash after leaving fundraiser

An undated courtesy photo of Joshua VanBelzen. (Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home)
An undated courtesy photo of Joshua VanBelzen. (Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home)

SPARTA, Mich. – A Michigan Army veteran was killed in a crash Saturday evening after leaving a fundraiser for disabled veterans. 

WOODTV reports Joshua VanBelzen, 26, died at the scene of the crash, which happened on US-12 near Person Highway in Cambridge Township around 5 p.m. Saturday.

Police say VanBelzen lost control of his motorcycle on a curve and slid into a pickup truck.

Police tell WOODTV that VanBelzen had just left a fundraiser in Cement City.

The police chief said VanBelzen was wearing a helmet. Police aren’t yet sure if drugs, alcohol or speed played a role in the crash.

The other driver was not injured.

Read his obituary below:

Joshua Daniel VanBelzen, age 26, passed away from accidental injuries on Saturday, August 26, 2017. He was born on April 25, 1991 in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he grew up and was proud to be an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Unity Christian High School in 2009 and then proudly served our country in the US Army, where he did a tour in Afghanistan. He continued his service and was currently serving in the US Army Reserve as a Drill Sergeant. He was also a Federal Corrections Officer. Josh touched many lives, had an amazing sense of humor and you could always count on some smart remark. He always had a smile and loved cars, trucks and motorcycles. Josh was trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

Josh is survived by and will be greatly missed by his parents Dan and Connie VanBelzen, Jr. and Laura and Kurt Schurman; his siblings Amanda (Adam) Spedoske, Jake VanBelzen, Halie Rouse, Makayla, Melanie and Adam Schurman; 2 nieces and 3 nephews; his grandparents Daniel and Luann VanBelzen, Sr., Gord and Carlyne Brinks, Tim and Wilma Marsh and Ken Gomer; his aunts, uncles, cousins and many great friends.

Services for Josh will be held on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 at Sparta Baptist Church at 11:00 AM. Family will meet visitors on Thursday, August 31 from 2-4:00 and 6-8:00 PM at Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home and on Friday at the church for 1 hour prior to the service from 10-11:00 AM. Interment in Fairplains Cemetery. Those wishing to make a donation in Josh’s name may do so to Wounded Warrior Project @ woundedwarriorproject.org.


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