SUV launches onto docked boat

(UPDATE: Thursday, 9:50 a.m.) A 47-year-old Spring Lake woman escaped with minor injuries after possibly suffering a medical problem and crashing her SUV onto a boat at the Holiday Inn, 940 W. Savidge St.
Becky Vargo
Jul 13, 2012


Police confirmed the driver was Cari Draft Elliott. The car had an EcoTrek license plate and a tire cover that said EcoTrek Fitness, Lead Funmaster.

Comments on her Facebook page express concern about her situation. A call placed to Elliott was not returned by press time.

Elliott was taken to North Ottawa Community Hospital by ambulance following the 5:45 a.m. crash. She suffered minor lacerations to the face, said Sgt. Curt Theune of the Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department.

Theune said witnesses told him that Elliott pulled into the Holiday Inn parking lot, backed into a front-end loader, and then accelerated at excessive speed across the parking lot. She went through the trees, became airborne and landed on a 32-foot Sea Ray owned by Grand Ledge-area residents. There was nobody on the boat at the time.

“We’re looking at a potential medical situation,” Theune said when asked how the crash could have happened. “Alcohol is not a factor."

To see more photos from the scene, click here.

Ed Gillies of Frisco, Texas, was visiting friends at the condominiums next to the Holiday Inn when he heard the crash.

“I heard a boom. It sounded like thunder,” Gillies said.

He walked over to the boat and saw Elliott sitting on the boat. He said two people who appeared to be cooks were already there.

“We helped the woman get off the boat,” Gillies said. “She said she blacked out and didn’t really know what happened.”

Gillies said Elliott told him she was driving on Savidge Street, started to get dizzy, so she pulled into the Holiday Inn parking lot. The witnesses told him she backed into the Caterpillar vehicle, and then sped across the parking lot, which was empty at the time.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” he said.

Theune said that Elliott was conscious and alert when police arrived. He also had never experienced this kind of a situation.

“I’ve been doing this 22 years and I don’t believe I’ll see it again,” Theune said.

This is not the first time Elliott has had an accident involving the Grand River. On Nov. 20, 2009, she drove into the river just west of her home in Spring Lake Township, having blacked out. She said at the time that she became dizzy, tried to pull off to the side of the road and then realized she was in the river, surrounded by water. Elliott was able to climb onto her car and await rescue by Spring Lake Township firefighters.

Police Chief Roger DeYoung said Elliott probably would not get a ticket, but would likely be required to do a driver re-examination.



How on earth...?????


Let me get this straight. This is the second time she has blacked out behind the wheel and drove into the river? How stupid is this lady, obviously she has no business being behind the wheel. She should be charged with reckless endangerment. She is lucky she hasn't killed anyone. STOP DRIVING PLEASE!!!!!!!!


Come on Roger, she needs to get a ticket because of course she's going to pass the re-examination unless she has another black-out episode! She's lucky that she hasn't killed herself or other drivers in either of these accidents. It's unfortunate that this is a medical problem, thankfully she's not drunk driving or anything of the sort, but she still shouldn't be behind the wheel.


I agree with this!!


Ladies and Gentleman......please. If this had been any one of us.....we would, like this woman, assume that after the first time we would experience no more of these. She didn't KNOW it would happen again. We don't KNOW what she had been told after the first incident. So, we shouldn't assume that we have all of the answers as judge and jury of whether she should be driving. Please, despite the fact that we do this while hiding behind our usernames, have a little patience and intelligence. If, after the second episode, she is told to not drive anymore.....and, we have something to gripe about. It's easy to say she shouldn't have been driving knowing what we know now.....but having gone 3 years without any episode...any one of us would have resisted not driving.


Im sorry, but if I black out at the wheel Im not just going to assume its not going to happen again. I am going to get thouroughly examined by a medical professional! Even if I am cleared, Im not so sure I would get behind the wheel of an automobile. Come on people!! this is dangerous stuff! She should have never put herself in this situation!!


How do you know she didn't?? That's right......YOU DON'T! How do YOU know that she hasn't seen a physician......and how do YOU know that the physician didn't clear her to drive? You're drawing conclusions without all of the facts! Of course it's dangerous......of course it's serious......but that doesn't mean that YOU get to decide what should/should not have happened! Our roads are driven by people who have suffered incidents at the wheel......because they've been cleared to drive. My point is simply that we really have no right to judge with the information that we let's not conclude ANYTHING until we KNOW. Before that, we look foolish and judgmental.


Oh I know these things Sir


Yes, it seems so. It really seems that way. Indeed. Clearly. Yikes.


Thank you my son

PeopleAreAmazing you vote, also?


Let's hope he doesn't.....but I bet he does.....funked out right wing craaaaazy.


OMGGGGGG good one :))))


Why are you insinuating I am a male?


Oh for goodness sake already, stop. Stop talking, and stop driving. You protest so much you give yourself away.


Typical female driver.

ghmomma If it would have been a man, he would have hit the front end loader twice, hit the boat, killed someone, and ended up in the river...


Yes, I am very happy that the car got stuck on the bow of this boat instead of the bottom of the river!!


Me too!! And I am glad you weren't driving as it probably would have been worse!!


I am a female....


Sure you are, and I'm Bob Costas........


I really am, and I have no doubt that you look like Bob Costas...


Thank you! Bob is an inch taller than I am and he's friggin' cute. I'm betting you look like MARAMADUKE.........oops, marmaduket, 'cuz you're


Why, yes, in fact I do. Still, much better than a woman that looks like Bob Costas……… Wow


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines


What does that make you, son?

PeopleAreAmazing makes him.......right?


get a life you two!!


Yes, sure. We should. Because your life is amazing.....and your logic is sound. Not.


Did you just drop a 'not' joke?! Good one, you trumped me Sir!!



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