Girl, 5, dies after I-196 crash near Zeeland

Ottawa County

The scene of a crash on I-196 near Byron Road in Zeeland Township. (Oct. 1, 2021)

ZEELAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A 5-year-old girl died after a crash near Zeeland Friday.

It happened around 6:45 p.m. on eastbound I-196 at 84th Avenue in Zeeland Township.

Traffic was slowing to merge into the right lane for a construction zone, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said in a release. It said a 45-year-old man from Holland was in the left lane going faster than the rest of traffic, officials say.

As he approached the slowed traffic, he suddenly braked and went into the right line, officials say.

He then hit the rear of another car driven by a 65-year-old woman from Texas, who was pushed into the car in front of her, driven by a 48-year-old man from Iowa, the sheriff’s office says.

The Holland man’s passenger, a 5-year-old girl, was brought to the hospital with critical injuries, authorities say. Deputies say she was not wearing a seat belt.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Both the Texas woman and the Holland man were brought to the hospital with minor injuries, officials say. The Iowa man did not report any injuries.

Eastbound I-196 will remain closed as officials complete the investigation.

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