GH man crashes into tree

(UPDATE 6:45 p.m. Friday) Emergency workers rushed a 79-year-old Grand Haven man to the hospital Friday afternoon after he crashed his SUV into a tree near his home.
Becky Vargo
May 2, 2014

Police said Howard Datema was driving his red Ford Edge west on Grand Avenue shortly before 3 p.m. when he made a wide turn onto Doris Avenue, pushed over a sign, went across the road, and then ran over a mailbox before striking a large tree.

Mike Cramer said he was walking down Doris when he saw the Edge driven by his neighbor make the wide turn. Another neighbor, Rita Bickley, was in her car at the end of her driveway at the time.

"I was worried he was going to tag her in her car or me," Cramer said. "I was trying to figure out which way to jump."

"He would have hit me if he didn't hit the tree," Bickley said.

Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said the incident was caused by a medical issue suffered by Datema prior to the crash.

Datema was alert and responding to medical personnel at the scene. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the crash, police said, and was transported by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital.

A hospital spokeswoman said Friday evening that Datema was still in the Emergency Department in “fair to good condition.”


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