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Dowagiac Man Killed in Van Buren Co. Crash

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Remains of a single-vehicle crash on May 24, 2014, off of 63rd Street in Hartford. The driver, Juan Carlos Meza Jr. of Dowagiac, died at the scene. (photo courtesy Michigan State Police)
Remains of a single-vehicle crash on May 24, 2014, off of 63rd Street in Hartford. The driver, Juan Carlos Meza Jr. of Dowagiac, died at the scene. (photo courtesy Michigan State Police)

HARTFORD, MI (WHTC) - A 22-year-old Dowagiac man died on Saturday morning following a single-vehicle crash along a Van Buren County road.

State police troopers and local officers responded around 5 AM off of 63rd Avenue, near where the roadway dead-ends for I-94, finding a 2008 Dodge Avenger ablaze and wrapped around a tree. First responders were able to quickly put out the flames, but found the body of Juan Carlos Meza Junior, who was pronounced dead at the scene by the Van Buren County Medical Examiner's Office.

Due to the extent of the damage, investigators couldn't determine if alcohol was a factor, or whether Meza was buckled up at the time of the crash. An autopsy is expected after the Memorial Day holiday that could shed some more light into the incident, which remains under investigation.

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