Rehired police officer may have been ill at time of crash

Becky Vargo • Mar 4, 2016 at 6:06 PM

FRUITPORT TWP. — A recently rehired police officer was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he crashed his Fruitport Township patrol car into a utility pole on Feb. 29, Norton Shores Police Chief Jon Gale said.

Norton Shores police investigated the 9:15 p.m. crash in Fruitport Township to avoid a conflict of interest because it involved a Fruitport Township police officer.

Timothy Michael Thompson, 37, told officials he was ill at the time of the single-car crash, Gale said. The officer was not injured as a result of the crash, which occurred on Airline Road near Pontaluna Road.

“We cleared him of excessive speed and reckless driving, as well as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” Gale said.

A blood test was conducted.

Final reports of the incident are expected on the police chief’s desk on Monday, he said.

Thompson was a full-time officer for the Fruitport Township Police Department for a little more than two years. He lost his job after a November 2014 drunk driving incident, but fought the firing and was recently reinstated.

Thompson was arrested at about 4:30 a.m. on I-96 near the 68th Avenue exit in Coopersville. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14; court records show. The threshold for drunken driving in Michigan is 0.08.

Thompson’s infant child was in his car at the time.

Fruitport Township Supervisor Brian Werschem told media he expected the officer to report back to work once released by the doctor.

WZZM-TV contributed to this story.

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