Fiery wrong-way crash closes I-96

(UPDATE: 12:10 a.m. Friday) The eastbound lanes of I-96 in northeastern Ottawa County were reopened shortly before midnight after a fiery, wrong-way fatal crash about four hours earlier Thursday night.
Jul 10, 2014


The highway's eastbound lanes were closed in the area of 48th Avenue near Coopersville.

Emergency crews from Marne and Coopersville started responding to the crash scene, near the 23-mile marker near Marne, at about 7:45 p.m.

A witness told WZZM-TV that the driver of an SUV used a restricted turn-around in the interstate, crossed over the freeway, went into a ditch and then started heading west in the eastbound lanes. The witness said several vehicles swerved out of the way to avoid the SUV before it finally slammed into a van, which caught fire.

The driver of the SUV was taken by the Aeromed helicopter to Spectrum Health Hospital in Grand Rapids. The westbound lanes were also closed for a short time to allow the helicopter to take off.

The driver of the van was killed in the crash.

The names of the people involved in the crash were not immediately released. We'll have more details when they become available.




The cop-trap turn-arounds are exactly how these morons are driving the wrong way. Close them all off, they are the danger. It is nonsense and a proven hazard to have them at all.


You can't blame the turn-around. Who caused the accident: the driver! Why not blame the van manufacturer because it caught fire, makes about as much sense.

retired DOC

I can not agree with bigdeal about closing the turn arounds. If he had ever been a first responder he would know these are needed.


How do they do it on toll roads? Give me a break here doc, really? First responders are needed BECAUSE of these hazards.

Tri-cities realist

Did it happen in the eastbound or westbound lanes? The story contradicts itself.

Mark Brooky

Thanks for pointing that out, TCR. My mistake. It is corrected.

Tri-cities realist

No problem Mark. And thank you for being the only (as far as I've seen) Trib reporter who acknowledges their mistakes. Nobody's perfect, but it takes class to admit when we make a mistake.


Driver of the van was killed. They have to check dental records to identify since he was too badly burned.

Once again, some selfish idiot claims an innocent life.

Is it just me or are accidents like this becoming much more common lately?

To top it all off, during this whole ordeal, there was a naked dude dancing around in the middle of the highway in the traffic jam according to a friend of mine who is an officer.


Was this person out of their mind due to some sort of major brain event ie stroke??? How the hell does this person do this?

This wrong way crash, and the other that happened a week or two ago with that nice Grand Haven young man, Mitchell Hamm that was the victim, both give me so much anxiety.

Do they know if the driver that caused Mitchell's crash was under the influence? It really seems like they would know by now. That driver was only 39 so it also seems hard to imagine a random medical event was the cause.


Think Suicide. You'd have to be really messed up to see headlights coming at you and not realize there might be an issue.

Tri-cities realist

I was thinking the same thing.


A substance was probably involved in this stupidity..


I take that back now I think maybe just a brain fart


I like the Facebook comment about spike strips on off ramps. Although that does not fix the issue with service road turn arounds in the median of the highway.


this is so scary! the 3rd (that Ive heard of) wrong way crash in the past 3 weeks. what is going on with these drivers?
& just like with drunk drivers, its always the person whose not at fault, that gets killed.


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