Teen driver accused of hitting and killing woman on Old Mission Peninsula
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:38:05 GMT —
A 17-year-old driver is accused of hitting and killing a pedestrian Monday night in Peninsula Township.
The grandson of the victim tells 7&4 News that her name is Ann Riley, of Traverse City.
Crews were called to Peninsula Drive north of Wilson Road at 8:45 p.m.
Investigators say a BMW sedan, occupied by two Traverse City teenagers, was traveling southbound on Peninsula Drive and hit 73-year-old Riley. Investigators say she died at the scene.
Neighbors say that Riley was crossing the road to get her mail.
"I heard a screech and then a thump and I immediately thought, "Ok, we've got an accident," so I stopped what I was doing and grabbed my phone," said neighbor, Kevin McElyea.
The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office released the name of the driver, 17-year-old George Madison of Traverse City, and the passenger, 17-year-old Anthony Kratovil of Traverse City.
The sheriff's office also says that the vehicle is registered to Christopher Hale of Traverse City.
Hale and Madison are neighbors. Madison had asked to borrow the car for the evening to go to a friends home.
The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the factors believed to have contributed to the cause of the deadly crash. They have not filed any charges.
It is not clear yet how fast the teens were driving in the 35mph zone, but investigators say they are still investigating by reconstructing the scene. Those who responded to the scene said that it had recently rained, and that the road was wet.
Undersheriff Nathan Alger says that Madison was issued a preliminary breathalyzer test, but Alger would not release the results of that test. Alger says they do not believe alcohol played a factor in the crash.
"At this point we are looking at it as an accident, but as more information becomes available there's always that possibility that it delves into a criminal investigation."
Peninsula Drive was shut down for several hours during the initial investigation.
Neighbors tell 7&4 News that Ann Riley and her husband Joe are the owners of Wilson Orchard, located just up hill from the scene of the crash.
They remember Riley as a hard working and very generous woman.
"She was the mobile fruit lady," said McElyea. "She would hand pick the fruit from Wilson Orchard and hand wash them and drive them around from house to house to house. The cherries, the peaches and everything and really offer it to all of the neighbors."
"This is a very close-knit neighborhood, and she will be dearly missed," said McElyea.