Two hurt in wrong-way construction zone crash

Becky Vargo • Sep 25, 2017 at 5:57 PM

GEORGETOWN TWP. — Two Grand Rapids residents were injured Monday morning when their wrong-way car crashed on an exposed lip of a bridge in a construction zone on I-196 in Ottawa County.

The driver, 54-year-old William E. Douglas, and his passenger, 55-year-old Eleanor Church, were both in stable condition at Metro Hospital in Grand Rapids following the 10:15 a.m. crash, said Sgt. Jeff Steigenga of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

When Douglas realized he was traveling the wrong way on I-196, he did a U-turn and proceeded to go the wrong way on the off-ramp to a closed section of westbound M-6, just east of Hudsonville, Steigenga said. The motorist was still traveling east at “highway speeds” in the westbound lanes of the highway in an area closed for construction. 

Steigenga said the road had been exposed to a gravel surface and there was a 1-foot lip of bridge exposed at the Jackson Street overpass. The vehicle crashed into the lip.

There were no construction workers in the area at the time.

An ambulance transported the injured people to the hospital.

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