Overturned semi stalls traffic on U.S. 31

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:24 AM

Police said a 41-year-old Grand Rapids man was driving a semi from Ludington to Chicago when he made a lane change from the left to center lane after traveling over the drawbridge.

“The semi crossed over too far and began entering the far right lane, at which time he attempted to correct the vehicle,” said Lt. Renee Freeman of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety. “The driver apparently overcompensated, which caused the load of fruit juice to shift and the semi to lose control.”

Freeman said the semi rolled onto its side and slid about 100 feet before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound lanes, just north of Coho Drive.

The semi did not come in contact with any other vehicle and the driver was not injured, she said.

Emergency crews were called to the scene and blocked off two of the three southbound lanes.

Around noon, police closed off all of the southbound lanes and two of the three northbound lanes while personnel from Dick’s Towing worked first to upright the semi, then clear it off the road. Emergency personnel also closed down southbound U.S. 31 at VanWagoner Road.

Cables were stretched between the semi and three tow trucks: one which crossed the northbound lanes, one at the north end of the semi and another down on Coho Drive. The vehicle was slowly brought up onto its wheels and the load redistributed inside the trailer before it was towed off the highway shortly after 1:30 p.m.

Freeman said the 43,000 pounds of assorted fruit juices were being transported from Ludington to Chicago. It was unknown how much of the cargo was destroyed, she said.

The tractor trailer was considered a total loss.

GHDPS was assisted at the scene by the Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division and Spring Lake/Ferrysburg police. The Ferrysburg Fire Department assisted with traffic control.

The driver of the semi was ticketed for careless driving.

To see more photos from the accident scene, click here.

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