Wrong-way driver flees with child after I-96 crash

Ottawa County

TALLMADGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Ottawa County sheriff’s deputies say a wrong-way driver was traveling with a 7-year-old girl in his car when he hit another car head-on on I-96.

The crash happened around 10:45 p.m. Sunday on eastbound I-96 near the Marne exit, shortly after dispatchers started getting calls about a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu driving west in the highway’s eastbound lanes.

The Malibu hit a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, which caused a chain reaction crash involving two more vehicles.

Deputies say the driver of the Sonata, identified as an 18-year-old woman from Rockford, was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. No one else was injured in the crash.

The wrong-way driver, identified as 29-year-old man from Grand Rapids, left the scene of the crash with his 7-year-old passenger. Police found him nearby and took him into custody.

Authorities shut down all but one lane of eastbound I-96 to allow crews to clean up the wreckage. The highway fully reopened about two hours later.

The crash remains under investigation. Any witnesses to the incident are encouraged to call Ottawa County Central Dispatch at 1.800.240.0911.

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