WRIGHT TWP. — Two Grand Rapids-area men suffered serious injuries Thursday night in what appear to be separate and unrelated motorcycle crashes on or near I-96 in Ottawa County.
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a single motorcycle personal-injury crash on westbound I-96 near the 25-mile marker in Wright Township shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday. It was later determined this crash occurred at the curve in Eighth Avenue to Hayes Street, which is close to the north side of I-96.
The preliminary investigation at the scene revealed that a 47-year-old Wyoming man was driving his 2014 Harley-Davidson south on Eighth Avenue when he lost control in the curve to Hayes Street. When the motorcycle left the roadway, he went through the ditch and came to rest on the embankment of westbound I-96.
That motorcycle driver suffered severe injuries and he was transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids by the Aero Med helicopter. The freeway was closed for a period of time as medical personnel attended to the patient and Aero Med landed on the freeway.
When deputies initially arrived on the scene, they were directed to a second crash that occurred at the same intersection at nearly the same time. A 44-year-old man driving a 2005 Harley-Davidson also lost control in the same corner and crashed into the ditch on Hayes Street. He was treated at the scene for head injuries and was transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital by Life ambulance.
Neither motorcycle rider was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, said Sgt. Chris Dill of the Sheriff's Office, and speed is a factor in both crashes. Both crashes remain under investigation by the Sheriff's Office.