Close calls and crashes

An ambulance took one man to a Grand Rapids hospital after his delivery truck rear-ended the back of a county plow truck Tuesday morning on I-96 east of the Coopersville exit.
Becky Vargo
Jan 8, 2014

This was just one of 140 crashes or slide-offs Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“They hit our sander in the back,” Ottawa County Road Commission Finance Director Michael Mikita said. “The sander needs to be repaired, but the truck is back on the road.”

The sand truck was working in tandem with a county plow truck on the left shoulder of the westbound lanes of I-96 when it was struck at about 8:50 a.m. in near whiteout conditions.

Police said the driver of the county truck — Robert Furman, 40, of Grant — wasn’t injured. Furman’s supervisor, Ryan Kemppainen, said Furman went to the doctor on his own, and was sent home for the day after he complained of a sore neck.

Furman told police he was traveling at about 25 mph when he was hit. All of his emergency lights were activated.

Chad Searcy, 34, of Kent City was driving west at the time and traveling at about 50 mph in a 2009 stake truck when he hit the back of the plow, said Sgt. Steve Austin of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

Searcy was pinned inside his vehicle and was extricated by Coopersville-Polkton firefighters, Austin said.

Searcy was driving a Clinic Services laundry truck. Officials at that Grand Rapids business said he actually worked for Roth Trucking, a subcontractor.

A Roth Trucking spokesperson said the driver was making his daily delivery to North Ottawa Community Hospital in Grand Haven.

Austin said Searcy suffered head and leg injuries in the crash, and was taken to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids in serious condition.

A condition update was not available Tuesday afternoon.

To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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