Vehicle found in Montcalm Co. lake; driver ID’d

A photo of Kurt Hoffman. (Photo source: Trinity Evangelical Free Church website)

SIDNEY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – Sheriff’s authorities have identified the victim whose body was discovered in a vehicle in a Montcalm County lake Sunday morning.

The body of Kurt Allen Hoffman, 53, of Stanton was recovered from the vehicle in Lampman Lake off of S. Brown Road in Sidney Township, which is northwest of Sheridan, according to the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office.

Hoffman was a long-time and well-liked minister at Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Stanton, sheriff’s officials said.

Tire tracks near Lake Lampman in Sidney Township. (June 22, 2014)
(Scene of the wreck at Lake Lampman)

Just before 10 a.m. Sunday, deputies were called to the lake after a passerby saw the vehicle underwater, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said the vehicle was about 30 feet off the road and about six feet underwater. Dive crews found Hoffman’s body behind the wheel with the seat belt fastened, sheriff’s officials said. No one else was in the vehicle.

After investigating at the scene, deputies said they believe Hoffman was unable to negotiate a curve in the road and hit a fallen tree before the vehicle veered into the lake, a release said.

Investigators said it appeared Hoffman was driving at a high rate of speed when the wreck occurred.

Family members told deputies that they last saw Hoffman on Saturday morning. Investigators said they weren’t sure when the wreck happened.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, sheriff’s officials said. An autopsy will be performed to determine Hoffman’s cause of death.

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