Man charged in fatal hit-and-run near Zeeland

Ottawa County

ZEELAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who turned himself in nine days after a fatal hit-and-run near Zeeland has been charged.

Jack Bankson, a 39-year-old from Holland Township, has been charged with failing to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident and operating without an ignition interlock device, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

The charges are in connection to an Aug. 15 crash in Zeeland Township that killed Valerie Batema, 36.

Investigators say Batema had been dropped off by a friend and was walking to a home. The exact reason she got out of the vehicle she was riding in isn’t clear.

She was struck in the westbound lanes of the I-196 Business Loop east of 84th Avenue. The driver fled the scene.

As officials searched for the driver, Batema’s mother spoke to News 8 pleading for the driver to come forward.  

On Aug. 26, Bankson turned himself in.

He was arraigned on Thursday, authorities say. His bond has been set at $5,000 cash or surety.

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