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Update: Tri-County Grad Killed in Newaygo Co. Accident

9:41 PM, May 10, 2008   |    comments
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Matt Kammers, 19, died Saturday afternoon while out riding his motorcycle with his girlfriend. The crash happened around noon in Newaygo County near the intersection of 104th and Newcosta Avenues in Ensley Township. Those closest to Kammers say he was a stand up guy, a great friend; someone you'd really want to be around. "He was laying right over there," says best friend Hanson Hackbardt. "And now he's not here, but he'll always be with us, he's an amazing guy." In the Howard City area Matt Kammers was known as "the likeable one," someone anyone could be friends with. "Matt was an incredible guy, nice, very polite, everybody's friend," says Hackbardt. "He did everything to the best, he was a great worker, he was very nice, funny, enjoyed cracking a joke, having a good time. There really wasn't anything negative, except that fact that he liked to drive fast." And it's that one negative thing friends fear may have killed him. He died while driving his motorcycle east on 104th Avenue. Once over a dip, he crashed into a tractor turning left. "There's just enough of a dip that if you're on a bike you can't see anyone that's on this side of the road," says Hackbardt. "So my grandpa said that he thought he could turn, so he turned in, then all of the sudden two seconds later there Matt is." Witnesses say after crashing into the tractor, Matt died almost instantly. His passenger, his girlfriend, was thrown from the bike, hitting the side of the tractor. The 18-year-old from St. Johns is in critical condition at Spectrum Health; and she's the one Matt thought could be the one. "I called him last night, and he's like, ‘Dude this girl's amazing, I think she's the one', so I was just giving him a hard time, you know saying they weren't together that long," says Hackbardt. So now the small community will have to move on without their Tri-County High School graduate; there he was a track and football star. "I'm going to miss him a lot," says Hackbardt while fighting back tears. "I'm going to miss him calling me up; he was always there for me." Matt Kammers graduated from Tri-County High School last year and had plans to attend Grand Rapids Community College.

Nick Monacelli

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