Craig Cameron figured the best thing to do was to drive his Jeep into a snowbank when a van spun out of control in front of him and was hit by an oncoming pickup truck Monday evening on Comstock Street.
Cameron, who wasn't injured, stood by for an hour while emergency crews attended to four people injured in the crash, just west of Peach Plains Elementary School.
Cameron said he was driving east behind the van when the van driver tried to slow down for another vehicle slowing or stopping in front of him.
Another witness, Phyllis Lovell, said the van couldn’t slow down in time, and its driver appeared to try to go around before it was broadsided on the passenger side by the westbound GMC 250 pickup truck.
“It was just so fast,” Lovell said. “I heard the crash. I ran to stabilize her (the passenger in the van). She was already hanging out the window.”
Lovell said the driver of the van had the airbag “go off in his face,” but he seemed otherwise uninjured.
Police said the driver of the 1995 Grand Caravan, Pate Denney, 21, of Grand Rapids, and both occupants of the pickup truck from the Grand Haven area suffered minor injuries. Paramedics treated all three at the scene.
Police said the passenger in the van, Courtney Barton, 24, of Grand Rapids, was the most seriously injured, but they did not know to what extent. She was pinned in the vehicle for a short time before being extricated by Grand Haven Township firefighters.
Barton was taken by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital where she was listed in good condition Tuesday afternoon, a hospital spokesperson said.
The occupants of the 2000 GMC Sierra pickup truck were the driver, Heidi Bezeeuw, 42, of Hudsonville, and the passenger, Steven VanLangevelde, 45, of Holland.
Denney, Bezeeuw and VanLangeveld were takend by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital where officials said they were treated and released.
Comstock Street between 160th Avenue and Indian Trails Road was closed for about an hour following the crash.
The names of the crash victims were not available by press time.
The road was icy and slick at the time of the crash.