I-196 Closes in Both Directions After Fatal Crash

ZEELAND, Mich. — Interstate 196 was shut down in both directions for hours after a fatal accident near Zeeland on Friday evening.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office deputies told FOX 17 NEWS that at 4:51 p.m. Friday a Jeep Wrangler was eastbound on 196 when it made contact with a semi one mile west of the Byron Road/Zeeland exit near 88th Avenue and mile marker 52. The collision caused the Jeep to roll over, through the median and end up across the westbound lanes of 196.

The Jeep contained 4 occupants. When it rolled over the two rear passengers both were ejected — a man and a child. The adult male was killed.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and was identified as Jesus Pena, 49, of Marengo, Ill.

The other three passengers all were injured and were transported to area hospitals — driver Jennifer Pena, 31, of Marengo, Ill., listed in stable condition at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids; front seat passenger a juvenile girl from Tucson, Ariz., listed in good condition at DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids; and back seat passenger a 7-year-old juvenile girl from Marengo, Ill., listed in serious condition at DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Driver Jennifer Pena was pinned inside the Jeep and was extricated by Zeeland Fire Rescue.

Both front seat passengers were wearing seat belts at the time of impact.

The semi driver — James Cleveland, 49, of Pennsylvania — was not hurt and was wearing a seat belt.

The highway was shut down both ways between Holland and Hudsonville. Deputies said they were going to try to get the eatbound lanes open by 8:30 p.m. Friday but that the westbound lanes would be closed for a while while the crash was investigated.

All lanes in both directions were reopened to traffic at 9:09 p.m. Friday.

1 Comment

  • Amanda From Michigan

    I was coming home from work via Adams, and it was amazing to see that line of cars that were diverted off the highway. It was eerie to look in the other direction and see an empty highway. I was hoping hte news wouldn't be this sad.

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