Officials from Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital reported that Thomas Vanderwall, 27, was in serious condition as of Thursday afternoon. Police said the Grand Haven man was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected in the crash.
Vanderwall’s mother, Sharon Vanderwall, said her son was critically injured and remains in a trauma care unit with two collapsed lungs; tears in one lung, his spleen and a bronchial tube; two neck fractures; a cracked pelvic bone; and a smashed right hand and shattered cheekbone. He also suffered many bruises and lacerations, his mother said Thursday.
Thomas Vanderwall was the passenger in a 2005 GMC Avalanche pickup truck driven by his longtime friend, Robert Bosch, 24, when the vehicle crashed on North Cedar Drive shortly after 6 p.m. this past Saturday.
Sgt. Jay Douglas of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said Bosch was driving the truck west on the gravel road from the dead end at a high rate of speed, went slightly off the road, came back on and rolled a couple of times before the vehicle landed on its roof.
Bosch was not injured and was able to walk to a nearby house to call for help.
Douglas said Vanderwall was ejected from the vehicle. They found him lying in the road several feet east of the overturned pickup truck.
“Tom only remembers that Robert was going at a high rate of speed, the truck fish-tailed and he saw a tire coming up,” Sharon Vanderwall said. “That’s all he remembers.”
North Ottawa Community Hospital paramedics at the scene requested the Aero Med helicopter for transport, but it was unable to fly that evening. The paramedics instead transported Vanderwall by ambulance to the Grand Rapids hospital.
An ambulance transported Bosch to North Ottawa Community Hospital for blood tests for drugs and alcohol, according to Sgt. Steve Austin of the Sheriff’s Office. Bosch was then taken to the Ottawa County Jail.
The Sheriff’s Office’s crash report indicates Bosch blew a 0.08 blood alcohol level at the scene. That is the amount a person is considered legally drunk in Michigan.
Court records show that Bosch paid 10 percent of a $2,500 bond to be released following his arraignment on Monday. He was charged with possession of marijuana and operating while intoxicated. He entered a not-guilty plea at his arraignment. A trial date will be set.
Bosch was also ticketed for reckless driving.
Sharon Vanderwall said the young men have known each other for years. She said she used to provide day care for the Bosch children.
Sharon Vanderwall also said she was confused because her son normally doesn’t drink and is usually a stickler about seat belt use.
“It was a stupid mistake,” she said of the young men’s actions last weekend. “This one cost somebody dearly. It’s sad for everybody.”
Despite what happened, her son has a good attitude, Sharon Vanderwall said. “I’m very glad about that,” she added.
She expects her son to be transferred to Mary Free Bed after his hospitalization at Spectrum.