FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Three Grand Haven High School students drove their car into a drainage pond Sunday evening. Recovery teams that responded to the scene say the boys are lucky they survived.
The teenagers were teaching their friend — a German foreign exchange student — how to drive stick shift in The Lakes Mall parking lot in Fruitport Township.
The exchange student behind the wheel panicked and sent the Mini Cooper cruising into the water near the intersection of Harvey Street and East Mount Garfield Road Sunday night around 9:30 p.m.
Linda Hoisington owns Dicks Towing and Recovery in Grand Haven. Her sons responded to the scene the night of the crash. She says the teens are lucky to be alive.
“They definitely had some angels with them that night,” Hoisington said. “Watching over them, keeping them safe.”
In the moments that followed the initial crash, the boys were able to pry the doors of the Mini Cooper open and rescue each other.
Due to poor visibility and water conditions, crews decided to postpone the recovery of the car until the next morning when divers could locate it more easily.
Hoisington spoke with family that had gathered to see the car as it was pulled to the surface. She said Wednesday, they are counting their blessings.
“A car can be replaced, a life can’t,” Hoisington said. “So under the circumstances they were very happy with the outcome. That everyone made it out alive. The car is just a thing.”
The car, now sitting in the Dicks Towing and Recovery lot, serves as a reminder to Hoisington of just how dangerous growing up can be and how much attention is needed behind the wheel.
“There are more distractions nowadays, sometimes, and I hate to say this, but I wonder if we shouldn’t raise that age (to drive) to 17 or 18, just because of people who don’t take it seriously,” Hoisington said. “It’s always nice to hear a happy ending though.”
24 Hour News 8 reached out to family members of some of the teenagers involved in the crash. They declined to comment.