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Cruiser crash fallout

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:35 PM
bvargo@grandhaventribune.com 616-842-6400 ext. 231

“We’re not saying anybody’s at fault here,” Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Chief Roger DeYoung said. “But for something like this, we want to have the prosecutor look at it.”

Sgt. Curt Theune of the Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department was driving a 2013 squad car when the crash occurred shortly after 4 p.m. at the intersection of Savidge Street and Lake Avenue. The senior officer was responding to a crash between a car and motorcycle that happened a few minutes earlier about a mile west.

Theune was driving west on Savidge with the car's lights and siren activated, DeYoung said.

“Everyone else was stopped because they could hear a siren,” DeYoung said. “For whatever reason, (the minivan driver) did not hear the siren.”

Kara Hamm of Spring Lake was driving her minivan north on Lake Avenue and had the green light. As she approached the intersection, Hamm passed an open parking area and then a commercial building on the corner of Savidge and Lake that would have blocked her view of Savidge Street traffic to her right.

DeYoung said his officer had the right to go through a red light.

“You have to do it with due care and caution,” he added.

A witness to the crash, Michelle Allard, said the police car was going fast, but did slow down as it went around a vehicle at the intersection.

Theune and two of the children in the van suffered minor injuries in the crash.

The police officer was taken by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital, where he was treated and released Tuesday. DeYoung said Theune had no broken bones, but did have some soft tissue injuries and would probably be off work for a week.

Hamm said after the crash that she would take her children to the hospital to be checked. No further information was available on them.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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