GRPD: OWI ticket after crash into tree, fire

Grand Rapids
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Police say the driver whose SUV slammed into a tree and then caught fire in Grand Rapids was not sober at the time.

The crash happened Thursday evening on Burton Street SE between Plymouth Avenue and Breton Road. When the SUV hit the tree, the passenger was ejected and the driver pinned in as the vehicle caught fire. A passerby helped free the driver.

Last week, a Grand Rapids Police Department lieutenant on the scene said the incident was the result of “road rage,” but GRPD spokeswoman Sgt. Cathy Williams backed off that description Monday.

Williams did say the people in the SUV had been involved in some sort of altercation with the driver of another vehicle at the intersection of Burton and Plymouth, but wrote to 24 Hour News 8 that there was “no indication of road rage.”

The second vehicle was not involved in the crash.

The driver of the SUV that hit the tree was ticketed for operating while intoxicated and then released to the hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.

>>App users: Photos from the crash scene

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