Fleeing vehicle causes rollover, killing 1 and seriously injuring 2

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allegan sheriff

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. — The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal rollover crash that also sent occupants to the hospital in critical and serious condition after being struck by a fleeing vehicle Saturday.

During the early morning hours Saturday, an officer with the Gun Lake Tribal Police Department was en route to the Allegan County Jail with an arrestee on southbound U.S. 131 when he observed a vehicle pass him at a high rate of speed and nearly sideswiping him.  The officer immediately contacted central dispatch to alert other officers about the reckless driving behavior.

An Allegan County Sheriff’s Office deputy was at the exit to the city of Wayland and observed the vehicle exiting the highway and heading eastbound on 135th Avenue. The deputy tried to stop the vehicle but its driver accelerated to a high rate of speed and continued eastbound..

The deputy lost sight of the vehicle but continued eastbound on 135th Avenue, eventually finding what appeared to be the vehicle rolled over in a ditch on 135th Avenue near Fourth Street in Wayland Township. The vehicle’s driver was contacted by the officer while trapped inside the vehicle. He was belligerent and uncooperative with the officer.

At about the same time, Allegan Central Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call from a person whose vehicle had just been struck by another vehicle in the immediate area of the rollover crash.  The deputy and an officer from the Wayland Police Department immediately searched the area and found a second vehicle that had rolled over into a dense tree line, making it virtually impossible to see.

This vehicle had three passengers inside. One had been thrown out and was determined to be dead at the scene.  The other two passengers were extricated and rushed to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids where one of them was listed in critical condition and the other was listed in serious condition later Saturday.

The driver of the fleeing vehicle was determined to be intoxicated and was taken to Allegan General Hospital where he was treated and released.  He is now being held in the Allegan County Jail pending the filing of formal charges.

His name is being withheld until he is arraigned Monday.

The driver is from the Wayland area.

The names of the passengers in the vehicle that he struck will be released after relatives have been notified.

Everybody involved were wearing seatbelts except the deceased person, who was a rear seat passenger in the struck vehicle.

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Gun Lake Tribal Police, the Michigan State Police, the Wayland Police Department, the Wayland Fire Department and Wayland Area Ambulance.

The incident remains under investigation.

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