Investigation completed in GHHS girls crash

On March 16 scores of Grand Haven High School supporters drove through the fog toward East Lansing to cheer on the girls' basketball team to semi-final victory.
Cheryl Welch
May 11, 2012


Among them were five teen girls who didn’t make it to the game. They crashed on Interstate 96.

Involved in the single-vehicle crash were Emily Bogner, 16; Madison Case, 17; Hannah DeVecht, 17; Danielle Michaels, 16; and Brittney Olds, 16.

The three girls in the back seat of the Honda sport utility vehicle had not buckled in, and the force of the roll-over crash threw them from the SUV. The two girls in the front did have their seat belts on, but one was pinned. All suffered serious injuries, and all face a long road to recovery.

The Michigan State Police released its final investigative report on the crash on Thursday. The report, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Grand Haven Tribune, is 22 pages long. It details the conditions that led up to the crash, and the events that happened immediately after the crash.

Among the highlights are:
*Cell phone distraction appears to be a factor in the crash.
*A cold open bottle of pomegranate vodka was in the back seat of the Honda.
*A blood test on the driver, Michaels, resulted in a 0.00 percent blood alcohol reading.
*Fog and other road conditions were not a factor in the crash.
*One witness said the girls had to be driving at least 90 mph that morning.

Read the full story in Friday’s Grand Haven Tribune, and view the entire report at Friday afternoon.




Kinda makes you wish the FOIA could get repealed.


We need to push to pass a law that will keep our young people safe! Outlaw all cellphone activity for the people driving the vehicle!

GH Cyclist

A law may not improve the situation but only make it worse. People attempting to text will hold their device out of view from law enforcement causing them to look further away from the road for longer periods of time. More time looking away from the road is not what we need. If the average text takes 5 seconds to type a reply, at freeway speeds a car will cover nearly 2 football fields in 5 seconds. A lot can happen in that amount of time. Instead of a law, I feel there needs to be more guidance and rules from parents. Maybe kids don't actually need cell phones either...maybe most of us don't really need to be that connected.


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