NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) — A business founder from Grand Haven was killed when a fleeing suspect caused a car crash in Norton Shores.
Duane Quigg, 93, started Engine Power Components Inc. in 1979. He died at the scene of the crash Thursday morning.
“I’m in shock,” said Rose Carsok, the daughter-in-law of Quigg’s girlfriend, Elaine Carsok.
Elaine Carsok, 90, was in the passenger’s seat at the time of the crash. She survived but was still in the hospital Thursday evening.
Rose Carsok recalled Quigg as larger than life and a people person.
“Duane is a sweetheart. … He talks to everyone and (you) can’t get him to stop,” she said as she laughed.
According to online records, Quigg was a Legacy member of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and gave to causes like the Muskegon area senior center.
“They’re going to miss him quite a bit,” Rose Carsok added.
The crash happened around 11:15 a.m. at the intersection of East Broadway Avenue and Huizenga Street.
Norton Shores Police Chief Jon Gale said a sergeant was responding to a report of stolen liquor at the Meijer near West Norton Avenue when he spotted the suspect. The officer tried to stop the suspect in the area of Getty Street near Airline Highway and the suspect pulled over into a parking lot near Norton Avenue.
After the sergeant got out of his patrol vehicle, the suspect drove off, heading north on Getty Street, according to the police chief. Gale said the sergeant followed with his lights on, but ended the chase as they approached East Broadway Avenue.
“Due to the type of crime to the weather conditions, the amount of traffic in the area, it’s common procedure to call off a pursuit fairly quickly. That was done today,” Gale said.
Gale said the suspect then turned onto Broadway Avenue and hit a red vehicle that was crossing northbound at Huizenga Street.
“I just woke up and I heard a big ol’ bang. It sounded like it was right in front of my house,” neighbor Michelle Weimer said.
“It sounded… like a bomb going off when it hit,” she added.
The suspect, a 39-year-old man from the Grand Rapids area, was also injured in the crash, police said. He’s expected to be arraigned on multiple felonies once he’s released from the hospital. Police say he had multiple outstanding arrest warrants.
Carsok had a message for the suspect:
“In a split second, you can change somebody’s life,” she said. “Is it really worth it? It’s not worth it. That’s all that I can say.”
The chase lasted only minutes and covered only a few blocks. The crash happened about a minute after it was called off.
Carsok’s family wondered if the chase was necessary at all for a report of stolen liquor. Police stood by their decision.