Randy and Crystal Ulery were still being treated in the emergency room at North Ottawa Community Hospital late Thursday afternoon. They were in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, a hospital spokesperson said.
Emergency crews rushed to the crash site on southbound U.S. 31 at M-45 at about 11:40 a.m. An Ottawa County Sheriff's deputy said the Home City Ice truck on the inside lane was slowing for a red light, and the Ulerys’ 1997 Plymouth Voyager did not. The van slid partially underneath the 2013 Ford truck, smashing the van’s hood and engine compartment and cracking its windshield.
The truck driver, 19-year-old Zachary Ellis of Stevensville, was not injured, police said.
The van driver, 36-year-old Randy Ulery, was not wearing a seat belt, the deputy said, and the driver's side airbag did not deploy.
“They were very lucky,” said Jeff Goss of Whitehall, a former Atlanta firefighter who was first on the scene. “I didn’t think it was that bad at first, and then I saw them slumped over.”
Goss stopped to help and said he became concerned when Crystal Ulery, 38, started to lose consciousness.
Both of the Ulerys were conscious and talking to paramedics after being extricated from their vehicle by Grand Haven Township firefighters.
Traffic was reduced to one lane for nearly an hour as the crash scene was policed.
Randy Ulery was ticketed for not wearing a seat belt, a $65 fine; and also for failure to stop in an assured clear distance, a $100 fine.