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August 23 • 06:09 AM
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Two dead in Friday crash



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Frank Palermo 1989-2008
December 03, 2008
IMLAY TWP. — Lapeer County Sheriff's deputies believe alcohol use contributed to a one-vehicle crash near the intersection of Newark and Summers roads Friday morning that claimed the lives of two young men and seriously injured another.

Lt. Gary Parks reported that Frank Palermo, 19, of Imlay City and Jeremy Steeghs, 17, of New Orleans, LA, died at the scene at around 5:11 a.m. after their vehicle left the roadway.

A third victim, Brandon Bissett, 18, of Imlay City, was taken to Hurley Medical Center, where he was treated for several broken bones and released.

Parks said the three victims had been at a house party prior to the crash. Palermo was behind the wheel of his 2003 Chevrolet and headed eastbound on Newark Rd. when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a ditch on the south side of Newark. All three were thrown from the vehicle, indicating they had not been wearing their seat belts, police reports indicate.

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Jeremy Steeghs 1991-2008
Parks noted that Steeghs used to reside in the area and was visiting for the holidays.

"It's another sad story," said Parks. "The driver was a minor and he never should have gotten behind the wheel."

Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves said firefighters also responded, providing lighting at the accident scene and assistance to emergency personnel.

In addition to Sheriff's deputies and firefighters, Imlay City and Dryden police and Lapeer County EMS assisted at the scene.

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Palermo, who had recently been living in Harbor Beach, was a 2008 graduate of Imlay City High School. Funeral services were held Tuesday, Dec. 2 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Imlay City.

A musician, basketball player and member of his high school speech and debate team, Steeghs was a senior at Chalmette High School in Louisiana. Funeral services are scheduled today (Wed., Dec. 3) at 3 p.m. at Muir Brothers Funeral Home in Imlay City.

Editor's note: Assistant Editor Maria Brown contributed to this report.

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