'Distracted drivers' collide

(UPDATE: Friday 9:45 a.m.) Two people had to be extricated from their crushed cars after a head-on crash in Spring Lake Township this afternoon.
Becky Vargo
Mar 14, 2013


The two-car crash happened at around 4 p.m. on Fruitport Road near Walden St. Fruitport Road was closed for about an hour after the crash.

Police said both were "distracted drivers" and the preliminary investigation shows both were at fault.

Ryan Freed, 16, was on his way home from drama practice, his mother said. The Spring Lake Township boy was driving south on Fruitport Road and apparently was reaching for his dropped cellphone when his car crashed into a northbound vehicle.

Mariann Puckett, 65, was driving north and was eating a sandwich, police said. The two cars were either close to or over the roadway's center line when they collided.

Freed was taken to North Ottawa Community Hospital by ambulance and Puckett was transported to Mercy Hospital in Muskegon.

Puckett was still in serious condition Friday morning at Mercy Hospital. Freed was treated and released later Thursday, said officials at North Ottawa Community Hospital.

It took Spring Lake firefighters at least 20 minutes to extricate Freed and 45 minutes to cut Puckett from her smashed vehicle. They were assisted by Fruitport firefighters.



We really need to outlaw sandwiches in cars. And we need to outlaw picking things up off of the floor of cars. Vehicles should be distraction free zones. The "free zones" have worked so well keeping guns and drugs out of our schools.


Hey...I thought this is a "No fault" state..


It's considered no fault if you get rear ended, not in a head on collision.




I hope the condition of both drivers improve and no lasting effects are experienced.

We all should learn from this unfortunate coincidence - never take your focus off the road. Pick your cell phone (or whatever falls) up when the road ahead is clear. Take a mouthful of food or drink when the road ahead is clear.

We all do it to some degree - it is how we do it that makes the difference.


Sadly you can only control your own driving habits. If some other driver isn't paying attention, things can be hopeless, even with lightning quick reflexes and amazing driving skills.

Here is a video shot in Russia of an accident like this. Ignore their crappy driving skills (they are currently about at the point we were right after WW2), and this video shows just how fast an accident like this happens and how little time you have to react. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2...


Winter is the worst (best?) time for being involved in an incident not of your own making. Another driver who does not judge the conditions well enough will involve you in their mistake.

I feel bad for professional drivers of heavy vehicles who have to take some sort of avoidance to avoid an errant motorist with poor judgement.

It rarely ends well in winter.


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