County looks into what went wrong at Weaver House

Alex Doty • Jun 17, 2017 at 9:00 AM

WEST OLIVE — Ottawa County officials are working to figure out why the deck at the Pine Bend Park Weaver House facility collapsed Thursday evening during a North Ottawa Community Health System reception.

“Ottawa County Parks is deeply saddened over the deck failure at the Weaver House last evening,” Ottawa County Parks Director John Scholtz said in a statement released Friday. “Ottawa County wishes those who were injured a speedy recovery. We are committed to determining what went wrong and making sure nothing like this can happen again in the future.”

The county had a structural engineer at the site on Friday to inspect the damage. Scholtz said county officials are now awaiting the engineer’s findings before making any determinations.

In the meantime, county parks officials say the Weaver House is closed.

“We are in the process of working with those that have the Weaver House rented in the near future to accommodate their needs,” Scholtz said.

On Friday, NOCHS officials said that the two patients who were taken to the Grand Haven hospital with injuries sustained in the deck collapse were both treated and released.

The deck collapsed shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said of the 118 people in attendance at Thursday’s reception, 25-30 were on the deck when it collapsed.

A dozen people were treated for injuries at the scene, two others were transported by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital, and other people also suffered scrapes and bruises but sought their own treatment, Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Kempker said Thursday night.

“We were extremely fortunate to have a number of physicians, nurses and personnel trained in emergency response present at the event, and local emergency medical response teams were there almost immediately,” NOCHS President/CEO Shelleye Yaklin said.

Firefighters from Port Sheldon and Grand Haven townships responded to the scene. Several ambulances from at least three services were visible entering and leaving the park property, which is located at 15400 Polk St., west of U.S. 31 in West Olive.

The Weaver House was built in 1901 and was restored by the Ottawa County Parks Department for use as a rental facility. The indoor banquet area can seat 50 people, while the outdoor area can accommodate 150, according to the county parks website. The facility is a popular location for weddings and graduation parties.

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