MSP: Drunk driver caused deadly wrong-way crash


GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State Police say a drunk driver is to blame for a deadly wrong-way crash on I-96 Sunday morning.

The crash happened just before 3 a.m. near the East Beltline exit near Grand Rapids. The highway was shut down for a time, but all lanes in both directions reopened at around 8 a.m.

Michigan State Police say the at-fault driver is a woman in her 40s from Grand Rapids. The woman was driving east in the westbound lanes of I-96 when her minivan hit a car. The other driver, 58-year-old Gregory Gene Johnson of Grass Lake, was killed. He was the only person in his car at the time of the crash.

Both vehicles caught fire after the crash.

“The at-fault driver in the minivan was actually pulled from the vehicle by a citizen that stopped,” MSP Sgt. Brian Keely said.

The condition of the at-fault driver was unknown Sunday evening.

The crash remains under investigation.

There have been several wrong-way crashes, the majority of which resulted in at least one death, on West Michigan highways this summer. MSP says there’s no way to prevent similar crashes from happening, but police say they want other drivers to call 911 immediately if they see a wrong-way driver.

“If you can stay on the phone with the dispatcher and relay that information real time as fast as you can, that’s the best way to get law enforcement on scene and stop from having a tragedy like we did this morning,” Sgt. Keely said.

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