Collision with inmate van causes large police response next to Grand Haven courthouse

Becky Vargo • Apr 9, 2019 at 1:42 PM

A large emergency presence at the corner of Washington Avenue and Fifth Street in Grand Haven late Tuesday morning was required because of the number of inmates requesting medical treatment following a fender-bender crash, officials said.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office deputies and seven inmates were on their way back to the county jail in West Olive from the Grand Haven courthouse at about 11:30 a.m. when the county van was bumped from behind, police said.

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety officers responded because the crash was in the city, and less than a block from the Department of Public Safety office. Additional county deputies were called to help with the logistics of transporting seven inmates to the hospital.

The inmates were complaining of neck and back pain, a deputy said. Eventually, it was determined that four of the inmates would be taken to the hospital and the other three would be returned to the county jail.

The driver of the other vehicle did not appear to be injured.

A witness to the crash said the driver of the car “barely touched” the county van. Police said both vehicles were traveling at about 5 mph at the time of the crash.

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