54-year-old Dowagiac man dies in single-vehicle crash

ABC 57

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. - The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office reports they responded to a single-vehicle crash that occurred around 6:30 p.m., Monday night in the 69000 block of 84th Avenue in Keeler Township.

Authorities arrived on scene to find a 1957 Chevy Bel Air had crashed into a tree head-on with an unresponsive driver and aggressive dog still inside.    

Officials say the dog initially prevented first responders from getting to the driver.

The vehicle also lacked modern safety equipment such as airbags and seatbelts.

First responders initiated life saving measures on the driver, identified as a 54-year-old man from Dowagiac.

Unfortunately, the man passed away on scene from injuries sustained in the crash.

The dog was unharmed and returned to the man's family members by Van Buren County Animal Control.

Officials say their initial investigation shows the vehicle was traveling west and may have lost control due to encountering a partially flooded gravel road surface that runs between two swampy bodies of water where water was actively flowing across the travel lanes. 

Authorities add that alcohol may have been a factor but that can't be confirmed at this time.

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