Victims in deadly crash identified.

April 21, 2020

Victims in deadly crash identified.

COLFAX TOWNSHIP — The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office has identified the people involved in Monday’s fiery, deadly crash on North 176th Avenue near Walkerville.

Pronounced dead at scene were Josue Morales, 20, of Hart and Enrique Guajardo, 23, of Donna, Texas. Surviving the horrific crash is Vicki Branch, 27, of Walkerville who is now listed in stable condition.

At the scene, a Walkerville firefighter heroically laid on the hood of Branch’s vehicle to shield her from the heat and flames, stated Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast.

“The incident occurred on a curved section of North 176th Avenue between Jackson Road and Rossel Lake Road,” states a press release from the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office.

“Upon arrival on scene, (deputies) found two vehicles that were involved in a high-speed head-on collision. The evidence showed that a 2016 Honda Accord driven by Mr. Josue Morales was traveling northbound at a high rate of speed and was passing another vehicle in a no passing zone. The Morales vehicle lost control, went off the road on the east side, over corrected, and drove into the southbound lane into the path of a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan driven by Ms. Vicki Branch.

“When the vehicles struck, the Morales vehicle caught on fire and became engulfed in flames. Walkerville Fire and Rescue were on scene very soon after the crash and were very heroic in their efforts to save Ms. Branch. One particular firefighter laid his body over the hood of Ms. Branch’s vehicle to shield her from the heat and flames from the Morales vehicle. His turnout gear was destroyed from the heat he absorbed.

“Ms. Branch was pulled from the crash, and Life EMS transported her to the Walkerville School parking lot where an Aeromed helicopter picked her up and transported her to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids where she is being treated.

“The Honda was occupied by 20-year-old Josue Morales from Hart, and 23-year-old Enrique Guajardo from Donna, Texas. Unfortunately, both of these young men passed away at the scene. Ms. Branch is still at Spectrum Hospital and in stable condition.

“Agencies assisting at the scene were the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Life EMS, Walkerville Fire and Rescue and AeroMed.”

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