Man falls 15 feet through skylight

The skylight at Ottawa Area Center a custodian fell through (March 4, 2014).

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – An Ottawa County school maintenance man is recovering at home after falling 15 feet through a glass skylight Tuesday morning.

Just before 9 a.m., emergency crews were called to the Ottawa Area Center on 96th Avenue on reports of a man who fell through the roof of an outdoor storage building.

Authorities said 56-year-old Rick VanderPloeg of Zeeland went up on the roof to fix a heating unit.

With all the snow on the roof, VanderPloeg accidentally stepped on a skylight and fell through the roof onto a concrete floor, authorities said.

An employee of the center saw VanderPloeg fall and the school’s medical staff was alerted. They brought blankets to keep VanderPloeg warm until an ambulance arrived.

VanderPloeg was taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids for treatment and has since been released. He suffered a dislocated shoulder and bumps and bruises in the fall.

VanderPloeg has worked for the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District since 1986.


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