Ferrysburg man injured in construction zone crash

Becky Vargo • Apr 18, 2017 at 10:52 PM


Daniel Rop, 54, of Ferrysburg was identified as the truck driver injured in the Tuesday night crash.

Rop suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was in stable condition at North Ottawa Community Hospital following the crash, according to Sgt. Matt Wildfong of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

Rop told police that he did not see that the road was closed and did not see the truck in the road.

He was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.


FERRYSBURG — A Ferrysburg man suffered head and leg injuries Tuesday night when he drove his pickup truck through some barricades and slammed into a public works truck parked in a construction zone on VanWagoner Road, west of U.S. 31.

The man, whose name was not immediately available, was transported by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, said Sgt. Matt Wildfong of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

There was nobody inside the public works truck and nobody else was injured. But the crash, which occurred at about 9:45 p.m., pushed the vehicles just short of a half-dozen public works employees from Ferrysburg and Spring Lake.

“We were doing some repair work for our sanitary sewer,” Ferrysburg Public Works Director Matt Schindlebeck said. “We were opening up a manhole when Tom (Miller) yelled, ‘Watch out!’ It wasn’t a second later the truck hit our truck.”

Schindlebeck said the damaged city vehicle, as well as two other public works trucks, were parked in a line across the road with their emergency lights flashing. Barricades were also across the roadway. Signs indicated there was work ahead.

The trucks were parked about 20 feet away from the workers, four of whom were firefighters from the Spring Lake and Crockery Township departments.

Public works crews were working to bypass a sewer line that was punctured earlier in the day. Spring Lake Public Works Director John Stuparits said that a private company was doing a horizontal bore for a fiber optic line for AT&T when they punctured a 12-inch sewer line.

Crews bypassed the sewer line, but were still working to help a plumbing crew free a camera that had become stuck when the crash occurred.

Stuparits said that, as far as he knew, no homes or businesses had any problems because of the breached sewer line.

Police said the Ferrysburg man’s pickup truck was westbound on VanWagoner Road when the crash occurred.

It was unknown whether or not the man experienced a medical problem, Wildfong said. Police are investigating whether or not alcohol was involved.

VanWagoner Road closure

Public works officials said the stretch of VanWagoner Road from 174th Avenue to about the Trillium Business Center would remain closed through at least Wednesday. Ferrysburg officials said VanWagoner will be open to traffic from U.S. 31 to the Trillium.

The street will be closed to allow for repairs to the sanitary sewer main.

At this time, it is unknown how long it will take to make the needed repair, City Manager Craig Bessinger said Tuesday night.

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