WWMT Newschannel 3 - Search Results
1 dead, 1 injured following erratic driving crash
RICHLAND, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A high speed rampage that cut through miles of Kalamazoo County ended tragically Friday afternoon.
Family of 56-year-old Ezelle Gilland confirmed Friday evening he was the man killed in a head-on collision on 32nd Street in Richland around 1:00 this afternoon.
Gilland's family says he suffered from diabetes and all early indications are that's what caused the chaos.
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office says, moments before the deadly crash, 9-1-1 calls flooded in from people saying Gilland was driving erratically, often in the wrong lane.
The Sheriff's Office says Gilland forced at least one driver off the road, and caused at least one other crash.
The other driver in the collision was taken to Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo with potentially life threatening injuries.
Tyler Gilland is one of six brothers, who learned from Kalamazoo County deputies this afternoon that they would never see their father again.
"I wasn't sure that it was a car accident at first," Tyler said. "I just heard that he had passed away."
Around that same time, the family of the other driver, 51-year-old David Neuman, a former Epistolic priest from Ann Arbor, was hearing the news as well.
He was recovering with us from triple bypass surgery, said Neuman's former mother-in-law Mary Batek.
She realized the severity of his crash while waiting for him to get out of surgery.
The report of the crash on Newschannel 3 helped Tyler Gilland realize that his father had a diabetic episode.
"You don't know where you're at you don't know where you've been and you don't know who the people around you are," he explained. "And you get, like, a really blank look."
At least one witness reported Gilland had that look this afternoon. Tyler says his dad had a similar episode in the past.
"He crashed his car into an embankment on the side of the road and police officers responded," Tyler said.
He says it was five years ago in Plainwell.
"He was confused about what was going on; they told him to get on the ground," Tyler said of the incident. "He didn't, and they tazed him."
The Gilland family says it feels horrible Neuman was hurt this afternoon.
After surgery, Neuman made it clear no apology is necessary.
"He mentioned that the man who died is a Christian, and David said 'I love him.'" Batek said.
Gilland's family says he spent 33 years with the city of Kalamazoo and just retired earlier this year.
Family says Neuman will have surgery on his hip on Saturday and the road to recovery will be long.
The Sheriff's department is still investigating the crash.