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Woman charged after reckless RV chase

Two women were arrested and one was arraigned in Montcalm County District Court Monday after they led police on a chase in this RV last Saturday, which was stopped just west of 17 Mile and US131. Photo by J. Wentworth.

A 49-year-old woman was charged in Montcalm County District Court Monday after recklessly fleeing Michigan State Police in an RV Saturday.

According Spl./Lt. Michelle Robinson, with the MSP, troopers from the MSP Lakeview Post responded to the area of M-91 and M-46 on a report of a tan Winnebago driving erratically about 1:34 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Troopers observed the vehicle pass at least 9 vehicles, on the right, at the stop light for M-91 at M-46 and then disregard the red light. 

Troopers attempted to initiate a traffic stop but the RV continued west on M-46 below the posted speeds. Troopers passed the RV thinking the driver did not see their lights and made eye contact with the “elderly” female driver. The driver then passed the trooper’s vehicle and continued west on M-46 and then south on Federal Hwy. Due to the safety of individuals on the roadway, troopers shut down their emergency lights and siren but continued to follow at posted speeds. 

The RV then turned south on Federal Hwy. and then west on M-82. At M-82 and Amy School Rd, troopers attempted to stop the RV by using stop sticks.  As the RV approached the trooper’s patrol vehicle, the RV suddenly and aggressively crossed all the lanes of traffic and almost collided with the patrol vehicle. The stop sticks made a positive hit on the front driver’s side tire. The RV continued, with a flat front tire, south on US-131 at posted or below posted speeds until exiting the east bound exit onto Cannonsville Rd. 

Troopers then got in front of the RV as it attempted to turn back west on Cannonsville, and the RV rear-ended the trooper’s patrol vehicle. The RV hit a second patrol vehicle before driving south on US-131 in the north bound lanes. Traffic was backed up due to a previous car fire, and the RV continued south, attempting to drive between both lanes of traffic and colliding with at least four civilian driven vehicles. No injuries were reported. The RV then used a cross over and continued to drive south on US-131 in the southbound lanes. The vehicle eventually exited US-131 on the ramp to 17 Mile Rd. and turned east, at which time troopers performed a successful pit maneuver. The two female occupants were then arrested without incident. 

This Kent County Sheriff’s Office cruiser was hit by a truck while responding to the scene Saturday. Photo by J. Wentworth

Deputies from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office were responding to assist the Michigan State Police at 17 Mile Rd NE and US-131. A deputy driving a fully marked patrol vehicle and a 2011 GMC pick-up truck were westbound on 17 Mile Rd NE. The patrol vehicle, with its emergency lights activated, attempted to pass the pick-up truck when the pick-up truck initiated a U-turn, and the two vehicles collided.

The driver of the pick-up truck sustained minor injuries but declined medical attention at the scene. The deputy sustained minor injuries and was transported to Spectrum Hospital by Life EMS for back and neck pain. According to Sgt. Todd Probst, the deputy was from the Cedar Springs unit, and is sore but doing fine.

The driver of the RV, Linda Marie Mankel, 49, was arrested and lodged at the Montcalm County Jail.  A search of the RV located several large electronic items believed to be stolen from the Mount Pleasant Walmart. 

Mankel was arraigned Monday afternoon in Montcalm County’s District Court. Charges included: flee and elude-third degree (2 counts); resist and obstruct (2 counts); assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder; assault with dangerous weapon; MDOP police property (2 counts); OWI and DWLS 2nd;  and Habitual offender 4th notice.

Assisting in the incident were, MSP Rockford, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Bud’s Towing, Cedar Springs Fire, Solon Twp. Fire and Rockford EMS.

Anyone who was in these areas during this time and sustained damage to their vehicle by the RV, is asked to contact Tpr. Lewis at the MSP Lakeview Post at 989-352-8444.

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