SL man injured in rollover on VanWagoner

A 23-year-old Spring Lake man was injured in a one-vehicle rollover Thursday night on VanWagoner Road, just west of West Spring Lake Road.
Becky Vargo
Aug 15, 2013


Neighbors reported hearing screeching tires at about 10:30 p.m.

“It was a solid squeal, squeal, squeal and then a thud," said Mike Mieczkowski, who lives nearby.

Mieczkowski said he ran to the scene and saw the Ford F150 upside down in the ditch. He called 911 as the driver crawled out of the vehicle.

Police said the driver and a friend in a second pickup truck were heading to their Taft Road residence after drinking at a local bar. The vehicles apparently separated at the intersection of VanWagoner Road and 168th Avenue, police said.

The 23-year-old man headed east on VanWagoner, hit the brakes and went across the road where his truck flipped over into the ditch.

Mieczkowski and another neighbor said the truck caught on fire, but the other neighbor was able to put out the blaze with an extinguisher.

While the 23-year-old man was being treated in the ambulance, his 26-year-old friend drove up in his truck.

The man said his friend had not returned home, heard the sirens and got scared, so he went out looking for him.

The older man was administered a Breathalyzer test, and then taken away in a police car. His pickup truck was removed from the scene by a tow truck.

The vehicle that rolled was put on a flatbed truck and removed from the scene.

Police said both men would likely be charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The incident remains under investigation.


Tri-cities realist

1st guy... Not so bright. 2nd guy... Even less.


Real life Dumb and Dumber!


I know right? If it wasn't so sad it would be hilarious.


And where are all those complaining about the cops wasting precious time harrassing drunk drivers in the story from yesterday?


These idiots will get what they deserve and rightfully so; still doesn't change that sitting down the street from a bar is unacceptable.


If you are trying to catch fish you sit next to a river or lake. I don't understand the mentality that DUI's deserve a sporting chance. Get them before they roll the truck into a ditch, or better yet make the chance of getting caught so obvious that they are deterred from getting behind the wheel at all. If this kind of crackdown makes people decide it is not worth the risk and take a cab or DD, then it is worth the time and money spent by police even if they don't actually arrest anyone.


And it says right in the story they were "drinking at a local bar." What a crazy coincidence!


A husband and wife going out for dinner and sharing a bottle of wine, getting stopped and registering .9 and obtaining a bill for 10k and all the trouble that goes with it is ridiculous. I have no trouble with "drunks" paying the price, habitual offenders etc. The penalty needs to fit the crime.

I remember back when the police would stop you and if you had to much your car would be parked and they would give you a ride home. If you can drive, you can, and if you can't then so be it, like the stupid individuals in this case.

I personally don't drink and drive under any circumstances because our laws are ridiculous when it comes to DUI. There needs to be some personal involvement, some educated decisions, not just sending everybody to jail and "stealing" from them. I am more afraid of all the people on the phone who pay no attention to driving than I am about someone driving that has had a few; falling down drunk is another story all together.


Would the law still be ridiculous to you if one of your loved ones were killed by someone who just had a bottle of wine and drove afterwards?


I have had loved ones killed in accidents where nobody was drinking; where do we go with that now? Everybody is looking to point a finger and make someone at fault for everything that happens in their lives; sometimes things just happen. This blame game you want to play is for people who can't deal with reality.

I don't necessarily appreciate you making this about me either, it isn't. This is about the way the law enforcement community goes about their "jobs" and the fear they are trying to instill by their constant threatening advertisements, "drive sober or get pulled over" bull crap. These intimidation tactics are ridiculous and should be seen for what they are, an attempt to gain further control of what we say and do. We are losing a little bit of our freedoms every day and it's scary when the average person doesn't see it.


I think it makes great sense, if you want to catch drunk drivers, sit down the street from a bar! There is no excuse for drinking and driving! This is a perfect example!
The effects of low concentrations of alcohol, .03 to .12, are: Overall improvement in mood and possible euphoria, Increased self-confidence, Increased sociability, Decreased Anxiety, Shortened attention span, Flushed appearance, Impaired judgment, and Impaired fine muscle coordination.
It is the combination of impairments that contribute to the overall problem. You think you are doing better, when you are actually doing much worse. It is not a matter of Drunk/Not Drunk!
There is an attitude in this country that we can do anything we want, and if you can't drink a 12 pack at a sitting, you are not a "real man"!
When you are on the road driving a car, you have a responsibility to all others on the road to not endanger them also, not just yourself. Drinking, talking on the phone, lackadaisically drapping your wrist over the top of the wheel, chowing down on your Big Mac, are all examples of actions that put your fellow man at riask because of your behavior.
I will always remember a quote I heard a long time ago, "Driving like Life, is best when grasped firmly with two hands, and done well!"
Take some responsibility for your actions, this was not an accident. Thank you Tribune for not using that word in conjunction with this incident!


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