“I don’t know why I didn’t see he was totally stopped," Lewis said of a Chrysler Sebring in front of him. "Maybe he was still moving a little. I definitely hit him going fast.”
Lewis’ Volkswagen Passat crunched into the back of the Sebring convertible and set the car spinning into the back of a third car at about 4:15 p.m. Monday.
Joshua Martin, 32, of Coopersville was pinned in his smashed Sebring for several minutes after the crash until Crockery Township firefighters were able to cut through the crunched metal and get him out.
“We removed the door of the vehicle,” Fire Chief Gary Dreyer said. “The convertible top broke in the crash, so they just flopped the top back.”
Martin was taken by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital and was listed there in stable condition on Monday evening, said Sgt. Brian Buter of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.
Lewis and the driver of the third car — Terry Mundwiler, 52, of Grand Rapids — were not injured in the crash near the 5-mile marker in Crockery Township, Buter said.
Mundwiler said he was stopped for backed-up traffic in the area prior to a highway construction zone when he heard brakes screeching, a crash, and then his car was hit from behind.
Dreyer said traffic was backed up because a semitrailer truck was being removed from a ditch near the Nunica exit, just a couple of miles ahead. That situation was going on all day, he said, and the truck was finally removed just prior to the three-car crash.
Police said Lewis would be ticketed for failing to stop safely and causing a crash.
Dreyer said emergency officials became concerned about people driving by holding cellphones out the window to take pictures. One of those vehicles started to drift over toward one of the tow-truck drivers, he said.
“Stop taking pictures and drive,” an Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputy yelled at the picture-taker.