Suspect freed due to cancer before deadly crash

Victor Thompson now jailed on homicide charge after Norton Shores crash

Victor Thompson
An Aug. 19, 2017 mug shot of Victor Thompson from the Muskegon County Jail.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The suspect accused of causing a fatal crash as he fled police in Norton Shores was released early from the Kent County Correctional Facility before the crash happened.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Victor Thompson was “granted early release due to his medical condition.”

Hiram Roberts, Thompson’s father, told 24 Hour News 8 his son was in the Kent County jail when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer last month.

“He’s supposed (to have) chemo and radiation treatment and he hasn’t kept no appointments. He just got to the point that it’s like he didn’t care,” Roberts said.

Roberts said that because Thompson hasn’t been receiving treatment, the cancer is likely now Stage 4. He said he thinks his son has given up on life.

Court records show that Thompson violated the terms of his probation and a bench warrant had been issued for his arrest at the time of the crash Thursday morning.

Authorities on scene of deadly crash in Norton Shores Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017.

Norton Shores police say they tried to stop a suspect after a report of a liquor theft from a nearby Meijer. The suspect initially pulled over but then took off. An officer gave chase briefly but called off the pursuit because conditions were too dangerous. Moments later, the suspect’s vehicle slammed into another car in the intersection of East Broadway Avenue and Huizenga Street. The other driver, 93-year-old Duane Quigg, was killed and his 90-year-old passenger was injured.

Thompson’s parents told 24 Hour News 8 it was their car involved in the wreck and that their son stole it. Roberts said they reported the car stolen Monday and the next time they saw it was Thursday, when they turned on the news and saw reports about the crash.

“He didn’t come from a bad family. He had parents that worked. You can see we have a pretty good home here and like most inner-city kids, most of them go down the wrong way,” Roberts said.

Thompson was hospitalized after the crash. His parents called the hospital to try to find out how their son was doing. Roberts said an officer picked up the phone and offered few answers before hanging up.

Victor Thompson
An Aug. 19, 2017 mug shot of Victor Thompson from the Muskegon County Jail.

Since then, he said, he and his wife have not been able to see their son or get any information on his condition. Because he was a suspect in a crime, he was an unlisted patient at the hospital.

“We’re not asking for no favors. We’re just asking for one thing: Tell us how our son is doing,” Roberts said.

After speaking to Thompson’s parents Sunday, 24 Hour News 8 found online records showing the 37-year-old from Grand Rapids was in the Muskegon County Jail after being arrested Saturday.

On Monday, Thompson was formally charged with open murder, reckless driving causing serious impairment to bodily function, retail fraud with intent to resale and being a fourth-degree habitual offender. He’s still being held without bond.

If convicted of murder, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.