Wrong-way driver arrested after early morning incident on U.S. 31

Three people escaped injury when a southbound vehicle collided with a police car trying to stop a wrong-way driver on U.S. 31 early Thanksgiving morning.

The southbound vehicle, driven by a 57-year-old West Olive resident, hit an Ottawa County Sheriff deputy’s patrol car, which was trying to avoid a collision with a wrong-way driver the officer was trying to stop.

That driver, a 23-year-old Norton Shores man, was eventually stopped by police about a mile north of the incident on southbound U.S. 31 near VanWagoner Road.

The wrong-way driver was arrested and his named is being withheld pending arraignment, according to Sgt. J. Douglas of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

Ottawa County Central Dispatch received multiple calls about a wrong-way driver at about 1:15 a.m. Thursday. The driver was heading north in the southbound lanes of U.S. 31 from Jackson Street in Grand Haven.

Deputies located the vehicle north of the Ferrysburg exit off the highway and paralleled the vehicle, with lights and sirens activated trying to get the vehicle to stop, but was unsuccessful, Douglas said.

The deputy drove, in the northbound lanes, ahead of the vehicle in an attempt to warn other motorists of the impending danger. The deputy was able to get far enough ahead of the wrong-way vehicle and pulled onto the median crossover and into the southbound lanes.

Douglas said that the deputy blocked the inside lane trying to get southbound traffic to stop as well as to stop the wrong-way driver. The wrong-way driver did not stop. In an attempt to avoid a collision, the deputy moved away, but was struck by the southbound vehicle.

The wrong-way driver continued north another mile before additional deputies were able to get that vehicle stop.

Neither the deputy involved in the collision, nor the wrong-way driver was injured in the incident.

The southbound lanes of U.S. 31 were shut down for about 90 minutes while the incident was investigated and cleaned up.

The incident remains under investigation.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety, as well as Norton Shores and Fruitport police departments assisted Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies.

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