MSP: Man tried to drive forklift 30 miles on highway

Andrew Lewis. (June 10, 2014)

HOWARD CITY, Mich. (WOOD) — A man was jailed after he allegedly stole a forklift from a Walker business and tried to drive it along the highway at night to his home more than 30 miles away.

Andrew Lewis must have parked his car outside the gate of Quikrete cement and concrete products sometime overnight, a company spokesperson said, then hopped a fence and drove off on a Toyota forklift. He must have headed toward West River Drive after leaving Quikrete, located on North Park Street NE, and eventually gotten onto northbound US-131.

Around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, a Michigan State Police trooper spotted two Kent County sheriff’s deputies near a pulled-over forklift on the highway near Pine Island Drive.

MSP, which took over the case, said Lewis told troopers he had planned to drive the forklift all the way home to Howard City — that’s about 30 miles. He made it only about three.

Police say he was intoxicated.

The Quikrete spokesperson said Lewis could not have made it to Howard City in the propane-fueled forklift — it doesn’t carry enough fuel.

Lewis, 21, was in the Kent County jail Tuesday and is expected to be charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor traffic violation. Quikrete said it is working with Walker police to bring charges for the forklift theft.

Lewis was a Quikrete employee when he allegedly stole the forklift. It was not clear whether he still worked there Tuesday.

He has a clean criminal record.

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