WALLED LAKE, Mich. – Two teenagers from West Bloomfield and Commerce Township have been charged in a four-car Oakland County crash that left a 13-year-old girl dead and five other people injured.
The crash happened around 7:45 p.m. March 22 on eastbound West Maple Road near Decker Road in Walled Lake.
A 15-year-old boy from West Bloomfield was driving a 2023 Jeep Gladiator even though he didn’t have a driver’s license or a learner’s permit, according to authorities.
His passenger was Gavin Anthony Kassab, 19, of Commerce Township, officials said.
The 15-year-old ignored a red light at the intersection of Maple Road and Pontiac Trail, so a Walled Lake officer tried to pull the Jeep over, according to police.
Officials said the Jeep fled east on West Maple Road at a high speed. Kassab used his cellphone to record out the passenger window while the Jeep was fleeing authorities.
The cellphone video shows Kassab encouraging the 15-year-old to flee police. The driver sped through a red light and crashed into two other vehicles on Decker Road -- a 2010 Honda Fit heading north and a 2020 Chevrolet Equinox heading south.
A 2023 Cadillac STX stopped at the light on West Maple Road was struck by the Fit as it spun around following the initial collision.
When the Jeep came to a stop, both teenagers got out and ran from the scene, according to police.
“This was a horrific and completely preventable tragedy, and both individuals should be held fully accountable,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “I am proud of all the work our team did building this case, even including DNA evidence.”
1 killed, 5 injured
A 51-year-old Commerce Township woman was driving the Fit, and her two daughters, ages 10 and 13, were passengers.
The 13-year-old had to be removed from the car by paramedics and rushed to a nearby hospital. She was pronounced dead from her injuries.
The mother and her 10-year-old daughter were both seriously injured. They were taken to a nearby hospital after the crash, but have since been released. They continue to recover at home, police said.
A 43-year-old Commerce Township resident was driving the Equinox at the time of the crash, with a 10-year-old passenger in the SUV. They were both treated for injuries and released.
The 58-year-old Commerce Township woman driving the STX was treated for injuries and released.
Both teenagers were charged Friday, May 12, in connection with the crash. Oakland County prosecutors decided they would only be charged for fleeing and eluding and leaving the crash scene.
Kassab and the 15-year-old are both charged with one count of first-degree fleeing from a police officer, two counts of second-degree fleeing from a police officer, and one count of misdemeanor leaving the scene of a personal injury crash.
The first-degree fleeing charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
The 15-year-old is scheduled to appear before a referee at the Oakland County Children’s Village for a preliminary hearing.
Kassab was arraigned Friday at 52-1 District Court in Novi. He’s being held at the Oakland County Jail on $250,000 bond. If released, he must wear a GPS tether, submit to drug and alcohol testing, and avoid contact with witnesses and the victim’s family.
A probable cause conference for Kassab is scheduled for May 24.