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OLIVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A teenager suffered life-threatening injuries after he crashed a pickup truck in Ottawa County while on his way to school.
The victim was identified as Kyle Bruursema, 17. He was apparently heading to Zeeland West High School from the Ottawa Area Tech Center.
Witnesses told police the driver was speeding in his full-size GMC pickup truck on southbound Port Sheldon Street in Olive Township at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
"This is a 55 mph zone and based on our preliminary investigation, we can tell that there was speed involved here," said Ottawa County Sheriff's Department Lt. Steve Kempker.
Bruursema lost control of his vehicle near 104th Avenue, north of New Holland Street. He over-corrected, authorities said, and crossed the road.
"Rolled through a ditch, up over a driveway, through a power pole and crushing several times, rolling, landing upright in the field," said Kempker.
Bruursema was pinned in the pickup and had to be extricated by firefighters.
"It's very obvious from the tire marks here that the driver did go off the edge of the roadway, did over-correct," said Kempker. "Based on marks and evidence at the scene, we can tell speed was a factor here. And as a result, we have a very tragic situation involving a young person from the area."
Bruursema was transported via Aero Med to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was listed in critical condition.
Some of the football teammates Bruursema played with last year were riding in cars behind him, saw the crash and were so shaken up that they left practice Wednesday.
"They were fooling around a little bit," said witness Braden Werley. "One was trying to pass the other and I think Kyle's truck went off the road and hit the ditch and did a few barrel rolls."
A few of his classmates who saw what happened pulled over.
Word of the crash spread fast, they told 24 Hour News 8.
"We just took a few minutes to pray for him as a class," said classmate Trent Kujawa.
"Just hearing about it today, just really touched on me bad. Practice was hard for me, the beginning half," said teammate Ryan Arndt.
"I kind of played harder for him," agreed Chris Ashford. "For me, practice, I played with more intensity than I usually do."
"It was devastating to hear about this happening," said Mitch Meppelink. "It was hard to believe it and everyone keeps saying the same stories over and over again. The truth is becoming a reality. It's just hard to believe."
Bruursema is described as the kind of guy everyone gets along with. Friends say that when they play Byron Center on Friday, they'll be playing for him.
Police said alcohol was not a factor and they're trying to determine if the teen was wearing a seat belt.
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