Bee-distracted driver, victim discuss crash

Tiffany Ketner said being in a car crash on June 6 was “the scariest thing I’ve ever been in.”
Becky Vargo
Jun 14, 2014

The 30-year-old Grand Haven woman suffered a cracked eye socket and broken bones above her lip when her car slammed into the back of another vehicle that morning on M-104 in Crockery Township.

Ketner said the crash happened after a bee flew from the back of her car into her face. Because she is allergic to bees, she said she was distracted by the insect and didn’t see a vehicle stopped ahead of her until the last moment.

“It’s not their fault that I hit him,” she said. “I just didn’t see it.”

Tom Larson was driving east on M-104 to a Crockery Township business on Power Drive at the time. He stopped with his turn signal activated, waiting for a chance to make the turn.

“I remember coming to a stop, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear,” the 36-year-old Whitehall man said. “I remember seeing a car off in the distance.”

Larson said the front of his Chevrolet Tahoe was pushed into the oncoming lane when it was struck by Ketner’s Chrysler Sebring. Two seconds earlier or later, he would have been pushed into the path of another car, he said.

Larson said he suffered a “pretty good concussion” and a left arm injury in the crash.

“I’m trying to square things away,” he said. “There’s lots of forgetfulness and losing train of thought.”

Larson said he was glad his parents were visiting him at the time, so he had help with his family.

The certified firefighter and emergency first-responder said he remembers seeing the car careening off into the ditch. He first tried to move his own vehicle off the road, but realized it wasn’t going anywhere.

“I stepped out to go to her vehicle,” Larson said. “I got to the side of the road and my legs folded in pain.”

A couple of days after the crash, Ketner said: “I do hope he’s OK.”

Ketner, who has been the subject of a rash of unflattering comments attached to the crash story on the Grand Haven Tribune website, said she agreed to talk to help clear things up.

“I thought that maybe I could make people see I wasn’t a monster,” she said, her voice filled with emotion over the phone.

To read the whole story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

Barry Soetoro

"Ketner, who has been the subject of a rash of unflattering comments attached to the crash story on the Grand Haven Tribune website..."

I hope they catch those unflattering commenters and do something about it.

Tri-cities realist

Me too. She was so distraught about the comments that she thought another story on here might help. I'm sure she won't be disappointed...

Barry Soetoro

Yeah no doubt. After my informative post about how to answer the door when solicitors come knocking I was going to take the rest of the weekend off...

Harry Kovaire

Looks like you'll bee buzzy now.

I figured it was you who set up this bee summit in the first place.

Barry Soetoro

Nope. If that was the case TheBee comments would have been moderated for various reasons such as obscenities, slander and personal attacks.

lady1983

I have to agree that publishing yet another story with Bee-distracted driver in the head line is opening yourself back up for an onslaught of insults...

meisterblue

Bee careful while driving!!

Bee a good sport and just walk away from a bad call!

DKS523

There is so much wrong with this article. First, the person causing the accident is still crying that she is the "victim". Second, while on the phone, her 6 year old has to console mom by saying "you are not a monster". Heads up Mom: no 6 year old needs that drama.

I applaud the driver who got hit. His concern was for her and tried to help even though he could not. I wish some of his friends would start a fundraiser for him. I would love to donate so that he can get his vehicle replaced, and help with medical bills.

The biggest thing wrong with this article is that the Tribune chose to print it. I doubt you are trying to help Ms. Ketner by publishing this. She is distraught over the comments against her on this site. (for the record, I do not agree with her trying to find someone else at fault for her actions) Your article will only bring out more. She apparently has bigger issues than who is talking about her on a website. I just feel like the Tribune is setting her up to be even more upset, and I wonder how that will affect her child.

beardsNracks

(DKS523) I would like to personally thank you for applauding my friend for his attempted actions!..That is just way he is, always trying to put others before himself!..

Like I stated in the other article he is a servant to his community,country and family...Firefighter & first responder since he was 16, 10 years in the Army National Guard as Infantry & Engineer and an amazing father and husband!...

This accident has knocked him down for sure but he will like I know him get right back up again...It may take a while but he will put the pieces back together again...He endured almost the same situation 15 years ago T-boned by an uninsured driver!..

We are trying to figure out how to build a small fundraiser to help with costs he is dealing with... We are trying to help in any way we can!..

Feel free to email me with any suggestions you may have at

"beardsnracks2@gmail.com"

Tri-cities realist

You could contact one of the local banks or credit unions and set up a fund for donations, then contact the tribune to let them know about the fund. I would hope that they would publish the info, since they ran a 2nd article allowing the offender to try to defend herself. I'm sure there are others here who would be willing to donate. If you do so, please let us know. I hope he fully recovers quickly.

calkins30

The Tribune will not print anything without a price.It doesn't matter the situation.

happycamper

Huh, they didnt have enough fun with this before., now they reposted this story for more, maybe the tribune is looking for a lawsuit

nextdoor

Or readers

Tri-cities realist

Or advertisers

happycamper

Double post

Back to the Wall

The award winning GH fishwrap continues to exceed expectations.

This woman is a menace, And doesn't know when to go away. The best that could happen is she's banned from driving.

She's a laughingstock, and she's too clueless to recognize it. Busting her chops is too easy, like tripping a blind kid. What a maroon.

SCH39339

Agreed. iF this woman is the same as anyone can google, she also chooses to show herself publicly in other ways. From her LinkedIn, I had never read of someone taking future credit for already a bachelor's degree (in 2017 via online college) or the career titles of her past professional positions. From her Photography website, it shows much about nothing, yet for exceptions such as flipping the finger as a subject pic. iF I got the wrong woman, I certainly apologize (but my observations apply to another very public Ms Ketner).

Therealdeal242

Not same women dude your facts are wrong may wanna fact check just saying

beardsNracks

I'm not too sure about the photography website but I did come across her facebook page and when I entered her name in the google search bar was amazed at how many images of her popped up...It pulled up her Linkedin as well...

Therealdeal242

Accidents happen all the time. I was in an accident in 2012 that never got into the papers. A driver hit me at 70 on seaway and rear ended me didn't even hit his brakes because he was on a cell phone. My insurance gave me 2500 for a new car and I'm still stuck with a crappy car and issues with my head such as memory loss and all that and still am trying to pursue damages. Nobody did anything for me. Accidents happen and everyone needs to just let this go and stop judging others because I guarantee nobody who is posting negative comments is without sin.

beardsNracks

That is unfortunate(Therealdeal242)This scenario happens all to often to innocent people!...But only $2500 for a new car?..Why?..Did you not have full coverage on a new car?..

Therealdeal242

I had full coverage I had a 2003 Kia rio n only got 2500 had 110,000 miles on it. I was in a very severe accident trunk was pushed into the front.

beardsNracks

I see now, your insurance must have only given you current blue book value...I am so sorry about that!

theQuin

The most amazing thing about this is that the Tribune actually gave this person a forum to defend herself because she was "the subject of a rash of unflattering comments..." I have seen much worse, and this paper seems not to care at all, and even to foster such comments. How does a person who slammed into a stopped car and then claims to be a victim get such special treatment?

TheBee

If the Tribune would like to hear my side of the story, I'm currently residing here - http://www.grandhaventribune.com...
I'll be the one chasing the neighbors.

MeanSmith

It doesn't matter what was going on inside of Ms. Ketners car. She hit a vehicle that was waiting to turn. Her fault. End of story.

michiglen

Given the second chance to clarify and explain the situation, I would have expected the guilty party to at least offer some denial of previous 'informed' reports of being ticketed for "Driving with a Suspended License" (DWLS) and "No Proof of Insurance".

None appeared to be forthcoming, so it must be true?

Were they excluded by the reporter? I think not. However, I do think the Tribune is baiting the offender for their own end, which may be a little unfair.

It is also a reminder to us all that the person driving the vehicle next to us or behind is not privileged to be driving or is perhaps without "abnormal" distractions (as distinct from the numerous "normal" distractions) that prevent safe control of a motor vehicle.

In light of the DWLS, this was a totally avoidable "accident". Ms Ketner should not have been driving. If your MI drivers license is suspended or revoked, you cannot operate a motor vehicle. That is the letter of the law.

No gray area. No excuses. You cannot drive a vehicle.

It would be interesting to know the start date of the suspension. How many journeys to and from work were undertaken? Just like DWI, this was unlikely to be the very first time driving DWLS.

I do feel bad for the victim. Again, and only from previous inferences, life has not been so easy for this guy and his family. I am very willing to contribute to any fundraising effort to help them out.

It sucks to suffer from the actions of someone who thought they were above the law.

Undue focus on this story by the Tribune? Perhaps. But the initial phone call in "self defense" from the guilty party immediately after the "accident" probably did not help the situation.

Accidents do happen. With the hundreds that happen every day, very few "enjoy" the limelight. Unless the circumstances are exceptional.

Driving is a Privilege - NOT A RIGHT!

Bee

Exactly. She was wrong from the moment she turned the key. No insurance and no license. I feel for the victim of the accident (the innocent guy who got hit, not the lady who thinks she is the victim). Because of her inability to follow the rules, he is being punished. He has the aches and pains and a lot of Dr. bills. Yet, SHE thinks SHE is the victim. Grow up lady, BEE an adult.

calkins30

I don't recall her implying that she is the victim. Who says shes not in pain as well. Accidents do happen and everyone does have a past. She is not the kind of person everyone is making her out to be. Obviously for all who are bashing a person you do not know, than you are the ones who need to grow up.

michiglen

Apologies for misrepresenting "innocent victim". She should not have been driving. No license = no drive? Self inflicted pain.

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