Once he realized that he was OK, the man left the scene and headed to the police station.
Sgt. Jason Kik of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said that he was parked and observing traffic at the intersection of Savidge and Jackson streets in Spring Lake shortly after 1:30 p.m. when someone from a passing car yelled at him to check the car coming up behind him.
Kik spotted a car with a crushed roof, and then activated his car’s emergency lights. He said the man driving the vehicle pulled right over.
“He needed help,” Kik said. “He was glad to see my lights.”
The roof of the four-door sedan was crushed low on the rear driver’s side. Tufts of grass hung in the broken-out window areas.
Drivers gaped as they drove past the pulled-over vehicles in downtown Spring Lake.
“Not much surprises me anymore,” Kik said. “I was surprised to see that car driving down the road.”
Witnesses told police the car was northbound on U.S. 31, crossed the drawbridge, and then took the off-ramp east to M-104 and Spring Lake. Just as he was navigating the curve, the vehicle went off the road and rolled over in the triangle-shaped median.
Obvious tracks show where the car went off the ramp on the eastbound side and where it drove off the grass and back onto westbound M-104.
Kik said witnesses told him the car landed on its wheels and the driver went back onto the road, under U.S. 31 and back around toward Spring Lake.
Kik pulled the car over on eastbound Savidge, just east of the Jackson Street intersection.
The driver of the car, Shawn Bates, has multiple sclerosis and uses a cane, Kik said. The cane fell under the accelerator and brake pedals area. Bates was trying to retrieve the cane when he drove off the road and lost control of his car.
When the vehicle landed upright, Bates left the scene to drive to the police station, Kik said.
Bates was not ticketed.