Dose of winter weather results in several crashes

The weather this morning led to a dicey commute for motorists in West Michigan - especially in Crockery Township where a car slammed into the back of a semitrailer truck along Cleveland Street, just west of Interstate 96.
Alex Doty
Feb 24, 2012

Sgt. Kevin Allman of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said the accident occurred about 6:50 this morning when a white sedan heading west on Cleveland Street lost control, spun out and slammed into the back of a semi, which was heading east.

The resulting collision sent a portion of the trailer into a ditch along the road, and backed up traffic in both directions.

Allman said the driver of the sedan, who wasn’t identified, was pinned into the vehicle after the crash. Once extricated, the car driver was taken to Hackley Hospital in Muskegon with non-critical injuries, police said.

The accident in Crockery Township was one of many that occurred this morning as a result of the winter weather, which resulted in slick and snow-covered roads.

Numerous accidents and slide-offs were reported this morning in Ottawa County, including incidents along I-96, the Pine Street/M-104 interchange and southbound U.S. 31, where a vehicle was reportedly off the road and in the woods.

In Kent County’s Tyrone Township, police said weather and speed likely were a factor in a crash that killed an 18-year-old driver this morning.

In North Muskegon, a man plowing snow outside a home died after the tractor he was using rolled off an embankment this morning.

In Van Buren County, a 20-year-old car driver died this morning near Decatur after sliding into the path of a snowplow.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for much of the southern Lower Peninsula, including Ottawa County, until 5 p.m. today. About 5 to 8 inches was expected in areas including Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

WZZM-TV meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer said all of West Michigan was slammed with wintry weather this morning, ranging from more rainy conditions in the south to heavier snow in the northern communities.

“We’ve seen lesser amounts here in Kent County,” he said, adding that by about 8:15 a.m. there was already 4 inches reported in Holland and Grand Haven.

According to Ofseyer, snow totals in Grand Haven should be between 4 and 8 inches before the major snow ends today.

“The heaviest stuff should end by late morning,” he said.

Ofseyer said that there is the potential for 2-4 additional inches of snow tonight and Saturday from lake effect, but this won’t be like this morning’s snow event and will be more isolated in nature.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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