Fruitport woman hurt in I-96 midnight crashes

A Fruitport woman was injured when she slowed her car down at the scene of a crash on the other side of Interstate 96 shortly before midnight Monday. Police said Tara Kolenic, 29, suffered life-threatening head injuries and was taken to Spectrum Health Hospital in Grand Rapids. However, a hospital spokeswoman said this morning that Kolenic was treated and released.
Mark Brooky
Oct 4, 2011


The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said a Muskegon man driving a Ford Focus lost control of his car on eastbound I-96 between Marne and Coopersville, and crashed into a guardrail. He then got out of his car before it was smashed into by a car driven by a Norton Shores woman.

A semitrailer truck then struck the unoccupied Focus, which was in the middle of the highway’s eastbound lanes at the time. A pickup truck driven by a Zeeland man attempted to avoid the crash, police said, and ended up smashing into the median guardrail.

Police said everyone was wearing seat belts, and only the Focus driver was injured in the eastbound crashes. Roger Lenneman, 40, was taken to Spectrum Health Hospital with head and neck injuries.

While firefighters were directing traffic in the highway’s westbound lanes, Kolenic slowed her Olds Alero to about 50 mph and was rear-ended by a Dodge Durango. Kolenic was pinned in her crushed car and was extricated by Wright-Tallmadge firefighters.

The driver of the Durango, 25-year-old Luke Esselman of Coopersville; and a front-seat passenger in his sport utility vehicle, 22-year-old Ashley Leeds of Muskegon, both suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to Spectrum Health Hospital, police said.

The interstate was shut down for three hours after the crash, police said.


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