GRPD forensics tech killed in crash on I-196

Friends and co-workers remembered Kyle Grant as funny and reliable

Kyle Grant
A January 2017 file image of Kyle Grant.

JAMESTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — One person was killed in a crash on I-196 between Hudsonville and metro Grand Rapids Wednesday.

The crash happened around 11:52 a.m. on eastbound I-196 at M-6 in Jamestown Township.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office says the driver of a pickup truck lost control as he tried to slow due to crashes and slide-offs ahead. The pickup slid sideways into the rear of semi trailer, then struck a third vehicle.

Jamestown Township, I-196, M-6
Photo: The scene of a crash on I-196 at M-6 in Jamestown Township. (Jan. 3, 2018)

The driver of the pickup, identified as 27-year-old Kyle Grant of Zeeland, died at the scene.

A source told 24 Hour News 8 that Grant was a crime scene technician with the Grand Rapids Police Department. The department has been notified of his death.

Crime Scene Technician Daryl Clemens, who worked in the Forensics Services Unit, with Grant provided this statement to 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday evening:

“Kyle was a great guy and it was a privilege and an honor to work with him. The loss, as you can imagine, has hit us hard as the Forensic Services Unit is very small. Harder still as Kyle was very young. Far too young to be gone already. As you probably already learned, he was recently engaged and looking forward to starting a life with his fiance(e). They just bought a house together last year.  He had also just been accepted as a latent print technician, instead of being a ‘street tech’.  He hadn’t even really started his training for that position, but he was excited (and a little nervous) about the change.  He worked with me on the day shift for the last year or so, and I was one of his training officers. I’m a pretty laid back, quiet guy, but Kyle took that to a whole new level. His nickname was ‘Fireball’ as that was the exact opposite of his demeanor. He didn’t get worked up about much of anything. Nonetheless, he was always willing to work and would often ‘jump calls’ -volunteer for things he hadn’t been assigned to.  We are going to miss him.”

David Giese went to Grand Valley State University with Grant and played on the men’s rugby club team with him for several years. Giese says Grant was always positive, always cracking jokes, someone you wanted to be around and reliable.

Police said his patent print submissions led to the identification of over 450 individuals.

Kyle Grant
Courtesy photo: Kyle Grant (far right) and David Giese (fourth from right) with the GVSU rugby team.

“He’s all-around just one of those guys that instantly brings a smile to your face when you think about him because he was funny,” Giese, who now lives in West Virginia, told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone Wednesday. “Ever since I’ve known him, he wanted to go into forensics. So I mean, that’s what he wanted to do and he followed through with it all the way through, so it was good to see that, too.”

A GRPD release said Grant was engaged to be married in the fall with interests in sports, traveling and spending time with his family.

The driver of the third vehicle involved in the crash, a 20-year-old West Olive woman, sustained minor injuries and was hospitalized briefly. The two small children in her car were not injured. The driver of the semi, a 63-year-old from Canada, was also not injured.

The eastbound lanes of the highway were closed at 32nd Avenue in Hudsonville while emergency responders worked the scene. They reopened around 4 p.m.

–24 Hour News 8’s Sarah Hurwitz contributed to this report.

***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified where Giese attended college. We regret this error, which has since been corrected.***