Alma man charged with murder in deadly road rage crash - WNEM TV 5

Alma man charged with murder in deadly road rage crash

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Kyle Richards Kyle Richards
Source: GoFundMe Source: GoFundMe
GRATIOT COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A Mid-Michigan man is facing murder charges after authorities say he intentionally rammed another vehicle during a rage, causing a crash that killed the other driver.

According to a Gratiot County prosecutor, 24-year-old Kyle Joseph Richards of Alma was charged Monday with second-degree murder, manslaughter with a motor vehicle, reckless driving causing death, failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death when at fault, and failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death.

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All five charges are felonies, with the most severe being punishable by life in prison.

Prosecutor Keith Kushion said the deadly crash happened Friday, Nov. 10.

The victim, 22-year-old Austin Gibson of Elm Hall, was driving his friend, 22-year-old Tyler Spade, in Spade’s vehicle down Rich Road after the two left a party on Lincoln Road. 

Witnesses told police Spade and Richards argued at the party about a girl they were both friends with, according to Kushion.

Richards followed Gibson and began ramming the back of Spade’s vehicle, Spade told investigators. The collision pushed Spade’s vehicle off Rich Road near Tyler Road. The car rolled and hit a tree. 

Gibson died at the scene.

Spade was hurt, but was able to tell police about the crash.

Kushion said investigators are still waiting for crime lab results. Additional charges could be pending based on those results, he said.

A GoFundMe page set up to help Gibson’s family with funeral expenses has raised more than $2,500.

“Austin was such a gentle soul, great-hearted guy and has touched the lives of so many people.  He was giving, sweet, and loved the outdoors.  He was a great friend to everyone,” the author of the page wrote. 

According to his obituary, a memorial service will take place on Friday, Nov. 17 at 11:00 a.m. at the Maple Rapids United Methodist Church.

"It was actually really heartbreaking for me. I was really close with Austin. He was a real genuine student. I just couldn't believe the loss," said Adam Mager, Gibson's coach.

Mager coached Gibson on the wrestling team for two years.

"It was just always fun watching him grow. Especially with his hip toss. He loved throwing the hip toss. He was a bigger kid. So it was a lot of fun watching him grow," Mager said.

Mager said Gibson's life was cut too short.

"He had a lot of potential. A lot of things that he could've really accomplished in life. And it was just way too short for him. And especially for his family. I know they were all very dedicated and very close," Mager said.

Mager said Gibson was really close with his family. As his loved ones try to deal with the sudden loss, Mager wants them to know they are not alone.

"My heart absolutely goes out to you. And anything that anybody in the community can do, please don't hesitate to ask. We're all here hoping to help you," Mager said.

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