Two injured in U.S. 31 crash

(UPDATED: Wednesday 10:10 a.m.) Two Grand Haven residents were injured when their pickup truck rolled several times across the U.S. 31 drawbridge Tuesday morning.
Becky Vargo
Feb 11, 2014

Police said Nicole Lee Volchoff, 29, lost control of the Dodge Dakota she was driving when it hit the bridge grating on northbound U.S. 31 at about 10:30 a.m.

“It rolled at least two or three times,” said Sgt. Lee Adams of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.

The truck landed upright, facing south across the two right northbound lanes. A commercial walk-behind lawn mower in the back of the truck fell out, but did not hit any other vehicles, Adams said.

Volchoff and a passenger in the pickup truck, Robert Cecil Welsh, 39, were both transported by ambulance to Hackley Hospital in Muskegon with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Hospital officials said they were treated and released.

Volchoff was cited for violation of the basic speed law (too fast for conditions) and having no insurance.

Adams said a second crash occurred in the same area when someone "gawking" at the pickup truck crash rear-ended another vehicle. No one was injured in the second crash.



wow! Another accident on that road! We really should do something about THAT ROAD!!


Hey! What about that accident on Comstock last night?? We should do something about THAT road! :-S


(Love the emoticon). I had occasion to be on both Comstock and Mercury yesterday, at two different times of the afternoon. The roads were icy, and there were periods when the visibility was not good - blowing snow. I chose to drive about 5 miles under the speed limit. Both times, cars passed me going at least 15 miles over the speed limit, kicking up even more snow as they passed and reducing visibility to about zero. One car passed me as I was slowing down at the corner of Comstock and Mercury (which was strangely icy with no signs of salt/sand despite this being the scene of the tragic deaths of a husband and wife just a few weeks ago), slid on the ice, and basically fishtailed through the intersection, turning right on Mercury without stopping. All the cars were out of sight within seconds.

There needs to be a police campaign of a traffic officer in that vicinity for the next several months. The road is tricky with the various bayou bridges, curves, and a fair amount of traffic, and people drive it like they have a death wish. How many accidents/fatalities must happen before Grand Haven Township gets serious?


I so HATE it when people slow down to GAWK at another accident or even someone pulled over by the police...I always say they are gonna cause another accident...and here we go!


I am leery of that grating. I never accelerate or brake or change lanes on the grating, even in summer. You can tell by the sound that your tires make while riding on it that your traction is greatly reduced, almost like hydroplaning on water. Maybe a sign or two should be installed to warn drivers that a hazardous road surface lies ahead. I am sure that it catches many by surprise.


I'd wholeheartedly agree with that observation Einstein. Having rode a bike over that thing for years, it's always a cheek squeezer on two wheels, particularly when the weather is less than ideal.
There's been more than once I've had to make a course correction going over that grating when not even going all that fast.


I ride a motorcycle every day above 45 that's dry and the rear wheel wants to "hunt" back and forth, I'm used to it now but it was really unerving the first 1000 times.



Magic Mike

Another thing that may help is if people tried not to change lanes on the bridge. The solid white lane lines are there for a good reason.

Transplant Victim

Magic Mike is correct. A solid white line means "NO LANE CHANGING". Yet everyone does it all the time, even the police. Lane changing should not take place until the dashed white lines are reached. Dashed white lines mean "LANE CHANGING IS ALLOWED".


Actually a solid white line is a "suggestion" to not change lanes. At least that's the way it was explained to me years ago by a boy in blue. A solid YELLOW line however means no changing lanes, period. I doubt if 9 out of 10 drivers are even aware of that little factoid, or care for that matter.


ACTUALLY...yellow colored line (whether dashed, single solid or double solid) separate traffic lanes when the lanes are going opposite directions. For example, M45 between US31 and Allendale, the traffic lines in the middle are yellow to indicate the lane to your left is going in the opposite direction. White lines are there to separate traffic lanes that go in the same direction. Like US31, when you drive over the bridge going south, all the white lines indicate that traffic is going in the same direction. One solid line indicates no passing while dashed lines indicate passing. The solid lines along the median are always yellow meaning that the other side of the road is traveling in the opposite direction.


LTA is exactly right (sure, the yellow line separates oncoming lanes). If it is prohibited to change lanes between two adjacent same-direction lanes, double solid white lines are used. Not sure I have seen that one too often.


Thank You! I just didn't feel up to arguing it, but really, if you can't get the facts from the cops, then what hope do the rest of us have to get it right?


On November 30, 2012 the good old GH Tribune ran an article about this very topic. I can't seem to paste the link in here, but the Secretary of State's office says the solid white lines are cautionary and you can change lanes on them. I LEARNED SOMETHING FROM READING THE TRIBUNE!!!!!!

LessThanAmused on earth did you go about finding that article, that far back in time? I've tried to use the Search function here multiple times in the past and never had any luck.
How about a lesson for us who struggle. I am assuming here that you didn't take the time to go backwards page by page to November of 2012! Yikes!

Tri-cities realist

There is a somewhat new website called google :-S


Well, with all due respect I wanted to know how HE found the article,(what search words he used etc....), but yeah, I guess you could use google to find it......I was trying to find it using the search box at the top of the page. That one doesn't seem to work so good. That's one of my complaints with this setup, you can't just jump from page 1 to page 36 without going thru page 2 to 35. At least I've never been able to find a workaround for that problem.

Guess I'll need to think alittle further outside the box next time.

Tri-cities realist

Sorry about the previous snarky reply, sometimes we just can't help it. As for navigating this site, I agree the search box is pretty useless. If you want to navigate to a certain date range, you can just change the number at the end of the URL (http://www.grandhaventribune .com/front?page=1). I added the space before the dot so it would show up here. So you could change the number to 100, which today gets you to October 29, 2013. Once you get close you can use the "previous" and "next" buttons at the bottom of the page. I hope this helps. If you or anyone else have better tricks, I'd be interested in knowing them. But I usually just use google, although there have been a couple of times I was looking for a specific comment made by someone that I couldn't find with google. But it may have just been my memory that was bad. Good luck!


I had to google it LTA. "grand haven tribune traffic white line" I wish I could take credit for something more saavy.


Sometimes the best solution is a simple solution GHJ. I wish I'd tried just googling it instead of trying to use the search bar at the top of the page....

Here's the link to the article. Read it and educate yourself one and all!


Oh my gosh people, go get a book from the SOS office. Learn your "lines"..... :-/

Regardless of what the lines mean, people need to slow down and watch out for others because others aren't watching out for you. SLOW DOWN - Make it safe to your destination. Spring is coming! Good things come to those who wait. :) ok.. I'm done now.


Thanks for contributing to the discussion! :-S

Tri-cities realist

Save a tree and some taxpayer money by going to the link LTA posted, and download the booklet from the SOS link


It only makes sense to slow down on any road this kind of weather when the road conditions are less than ideal, like the bridge is a race track, light turns green at jackson, to go north across the bridge, its all go and pedal to the metal, be careful out people, spring is around the corner.


Maybe if everyone gets their heads out from their butts when they drive we all wouldn't have to worry about what colors the lines are or if it is okay to change lanes. You all are dumb.

LessThanAmused YOU are joining in with all us dummies to share YOUR "wisdom".

[enter audible sigh here.....]


I never excluded or included myself from my statement. You assumed I was excluding myself, yet no where did I say that. Now if you'd be a dear, pass me your bowl of Cheerios.


Aha I see, you're only here to dazzle us with your wit and obfuscation.

Sorry, I'm old, I eat oatmeal with raisins. You'll have to get your own Cheerios sport :-O

Tri-cities realist

I thought all old people eat prunes (not that I'm calling you old) :-S


Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.