Deputies: 5 taken to hospital after multiple crashes on EB I-96 near Ionia

(August 13, 2016/Courtesy: Ionia County Sheriff's office)

ORANGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities say five people were taken to the hospital after two crashes on I-96 near Ionia.

The first crash happened at 6:19 p.m. on eastbound I-96. Deputies say the driver, a 20-year-old Wyoming man, was eastbound and passing other vehicles when he lost control. The vehicle went off the north side of the road, struck the guardrail and spun several times before coming to rest on the shoulder.

(August 13, 2016/Courtesy: Ionia County Sheriff's office)
(August 13, 2016/Courtesy: Ionia County Sheriff’s office)

Deputies say the driver may have suffered a medical emergency, causing him to lose control. He and his passenger were taken to the hospital for evaluation.

While authorities were on-scene of the first crash, a second crash occurred at 6:47 p.m. Deputies had the freeway partially shut down at the time, and traffic was down to one lane. Authorities say the driver, a 29-year-old Traverse City man, was in the slowed traffic when he looked down to check an alert he’d received on his phone and rear-ended the vehicle in front of him.

The driver of the first vehicle was not injured and received a citation.

The driver and two passengers in the vehicle that was struck, all from the Grand Rapids area, were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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