Alcohol believed to be a factor in rollover crash

Driver transported by AeroMed after extraction

By BETH ALTENA

M57crash1First responders at the scene said witnesses described a failed attempt to pass as the reason a pick-up truck driver lost control of his vehicle, snapping trees as he rolled the truck off M-57 (14 Mile Road) into a front yard Monday, July 22.

The accident happened just after 4:30 p.m. west of Wabasis Lake Road between Lappley Avenue, on a straight stretch of the main road between US 131 and Greenville. According to a neighbor across the street, the area has had many accidents. “It happens a lot,” said the resident, who did not want to be identified. He said from his driveway he has seen plenty of accidents, including a decapitation, semi rollover and three car crashes.

This incident involved a large commercial dump truck which was weighed at the scene to check if it was within allowable weight. The pickup was totally destroyed after fishtailing, rolling off the road and hitting a series of trees, and ending up on its side.

First responders used the jaws of life to free the male adult driver from the wrecked vehicle, then transported him by ambulance to Courtland Township Hall where AeroMed was waiting to take him to the hospital.

Oakfield Township Fire Department responded to the scene, as did the Michigan State Police and Courtland Fire Department. Rockford Ambulance transported the injured driver from the accident to the hall and AeroMed. It was unknown what injuries the driver sustained although he was conscious and talking to rescuers as they worked to free him.

According to a Michigan State Police report issued the following day, the driver of the 1994 Ford F-150 pickup was a 72-year-old Belding man who had been drinking. He failed to clear the 1989 Kenworth Dump Truck as both were traveling eastbound. The rear of the pickup struck the left fender of the dump truck causing the driver to loose control, roll his vehicle several times and coming to rest on the truck’s left side. During the accident the truck hit three trees, snapping them off about three feet off the ground.

Initially it was believed the driver suffered serious injuries and he was transported by AeroMed to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hosptial, and is now believed to have non-life threatening injuries. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

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