10-month-old boy dies after car crash near Niles

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

NILES — A 10-month-old Benton Harbor boy died after a two-car crash Wednesday on the U.S. 31 bypass near Niles.

Michigan State Police said Benton Harbor resident Tanjela Williams, 22, had stopped her car in the left lane of southbound U.S. 31 at about 4 p.m., after running over a plastic bucket.

Driving a Camaro, 19-year-old Alayna Rishaug of New Carlisle, Ind., was driving south in the left lane when she crashed into the rear of Williams’ stationary car.

With Williams in her Toyota Corolla, were four boys and another female adult.

Four of the five passengers were rushed by ambulance to South Bend Memorial Hospital. The fifth passenger, 10-month-old Jamando Guidry, was airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo and later pronounced dead.

State police said Williams and 5-year-old Jacaryona Parnell suffered severe injuries. Kahaylen Young, 7, and Kameron Williams, 6, are being treated at South Bend Memorial for what police are calling moderate injuries.

Another passenger in Williams’ vehicle, 23-year-old Elaine Anderson, is not listed by state police investigators as having to be hospitalized. All passengers in Williams’ car are from Benton Harbor.

Sgt. Timothy Thompson stated in an email that investigators “haven’t been able to confirm/determine the use of restraints for any of the kids in the back seat. Proper restraint use most always matters.”

Rishaug was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and suffered minor injuries.

Southbound traffic was shut down after the crash and troopers cleared the scene three hours later.

The crash remains under investigation by the Niles post. Other agencies that helped included Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Bertrand Township Fire Department, Niles Township Fire Department, SMCAS ambulance and West Michigan Aircare.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Sept. 18, 2015)

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