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Crashes keep emergency crews busy in Ottawa County

Becky Vargo • Dec 27, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Fresh powdery snow blew across West Michigan highways Monday and Tuesday, causing slippery conditions for dozens of drivers who crashed and slid off the roads.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, scanner traffic indicated people were still sliding off the highways, but Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Steve Austin said things slowed down considerably after 2 p.m.

The majority of the crashes handled by Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies occurred between Nunica and Coopersville Tuesday afternoon, Austin said.

As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office handled 49 property damage crashes (totals from Dec. 25 and 26), 53 slide-offs and four injury crashes.

Emergency officials responded to several reported crashes and slide-offs on I-96 near Nunica early Tuesday afternoon.

Eastbound I-96 was closed for a period of time, then opened for one lane of traffic as tow trucks and police cleared the scene of a rollover crash on the highway, east of 112th Avenue. 

Crockery Township firefighters responded to a rollover crash in that area around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. The driver suffered minor injuries and an ambulance also responded to the scene.

Firefighters said three vehicles were involved in the rollover incident, which apparently happened in the backup of traffic slowed and stopped ahead.

An injury crash occurred just after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on Lake Michigan Drive at 96th Avenue in Allendale Township.

In Grand Haven, emergency crews responded to the northbound lanes of U.S. 31 on the drawbridge mid-morning when the driver of an SUV lost control and rolled his vehicle.

Isaac Lewis, 43, of Muskegon Heights, was the driver of the SUV. Police said Lewis was ticketed for careless driving, having no driver’s license, no insurance and failure to transfer registration plates.

An ambulance transported Lewis to Hackley Hospital in Muskegon. 

According to police, witnesses said the vehicle was fishtailing as it went through the Jackson Street intersection, then did a 360-degree spin, and then hit the median divider wall before flipping and landing upright in the far right lane.

Police say Lewis was driving too fast for the snowy road conditions.

One lane of traffic was getting through the area during the crash.

There were no other snow-related incidents on Monday or Tuesday in the City of Grand Haven, noted Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Lt. Joe Boyle.

What’s the weather ahead?

The National Weather Service reports that it will be bitterly cold tonight with widespread low temperatures ranging from 5-to-10 degrees below zero and wind chill readings dropping to 15-to-20 degrees below zero. Light snow showers and very cold temperatures will result in slippery road conditions.

Snow showers and the chance of snow continues daily into early next week.

The highest high temperature forecast is for 20 degrees on Friday. Otherwise, the highs range from about 15-20 degrees for the next several days with not much sun in sight.

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