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Tag Archive | "Sparta Avenue"

Double shooting near Sparta


A man is dead and another injured after a double shooting early Monday morning in the area of M-37 north of Sparta Avenue NW.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, 911 callers reported at about 3:20 a.m. that two people had been shot and were laying on the ground near a stopped vehicle along the road in the 9000 block of southbound M-37 in Sparta Township. A 911 caller reported that the shooting was the result of some type of road rage incident.

When the Kent County Sheriff Department arrived, they found two men with gunshot wounds near the stopped vehicle. Donald Dudley, 20, of Bailey, Michigan, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man, Benjamin Dudley, 18, also from Bailey, Michigan, was transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital and is in critical condition.

Police also found a third male subject who stated that he had shot both of the men. Robert Chipman Jr., 43 years of age, from Newaygo, Michigan, has a valid Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL). Police did recover a firearm from the scene.

A fourth person, a 22-year-old female from Wyoming, had fled in a vehicle from the scene but was located a short distance away after she also called 911 to report the shooting. She confirmed that she fled in the vehicle after hearing the gunshots and confirmed she had been with the two subjects that were shot.

Major Case Team Investigators interviewed the alleged male shooter and the female witness at KCSD Headquarters. Both are cooperating with investigators.

The surviving male subject, Benjamin Dudley, will be interviewed when his medical condition allows investigators to speak with him.

This case remains an active investigation and all subjects involved are accounted for and there is no public danger. An autopsy was conducted by Kent County Medical Examiners Officer Monday to determine an official cause of death. Investigators will present their complete findings to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if any criminal charges will be brought against any of the subjects involved.

Assisting at the scene was the Michigan State Police; Sparta Fire/Rescue; the Kent County Medical Examiners Officer; and Rockford Ambulance.

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Four injured in crash

One person was sent to the hospital via Aeromed Tuesday morning after a crash at 17 Mile and Sparta Avenue. Post photo by J. Reed.
Two people were sent to the hospital via Aeromed Tuesday morning after a crash at 17 Mile and Sparta Avenue. Post photo by J. Reed.

by Judy Reed

UPDATED with names May 18.

Four people were injured in a crash in Tyrone Township Tuesday morning, with two being sent to the hospital via AeroMed.

The accident occurred around 10:30 a.m. May 17, at the corner of 17 Mile and Sparta Avenue. According to the Michigan State Police, a 1998 tan Ford Windstar van was heading north on Sparta Avenue, when the driver disregarded the stop sign at 17 Mile Rd. and was hit in the front passenger side by a westbound 2010 white Chevy HHR. The vehicles rolled and landed in the yard of a home on the northwest corner of the intersection. There is a stop sign on Sparta Avenue, but not on 17 Mile.

This PT Cruiser was heading west on 17 Mile when it was hit by a northbound van at Sparta Ave. Post photo by J. Reed.

This car was heading west on 17 Mile when it was hit by a northbound van at Sparta Ave. Post photo by J. Reed.

The driver of the HHR, Darryl Metzer, 28, of Clare, was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. He was the only occupant in the vehicle.

The driver of the van, Timothy Watkins, 38, of Sand Lake, was transported to the hospital by Rockford ambulance and is in stable condition.

One person in this van was airlifted to the hospital via Aeromed and the other two passengers were transported by Rockford Ambulance after the van collided with a PT Cruiser Tuesday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

Two people in this van were airlifted to the hospital via Aeromed and the other two passengers were transported by Rockford Ambulance after the van collided with a Chevy HHR Tuesday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

Police said that the two rear passengers in the van, Mitchell Helton, 43, of Sand Lake, and Peggy Helton, 54, of Sand Lake, were not seatbelted, and were transported to Butterworth Hospital by AeroMed and are in serious condition.

The Michigan State Police, Kent County Sheriff Department, Sparta Fire and Rescue, and Kent City/Tyrone Township Fire and Rescue were all on the scene.

According to one witness at the scene, Laura Glidden, owner of the Cheap Buys Thrift Shop on the northeast corner of the intersection, she had just went out to her car seconds before the accident occurred. “I saw the white car go by, then heard the crash,” she said.

Glidden is worried about the number of accidents occurring at the intersection. “There was an accident here just last week. There have been eight accidents at this corner since I moved into the store a year and a half ago,” she remarked. She also said that during the afternoon hours when kids get out of school at Algoma Christian, which is located just north on Sparta Avenue, cars will speed through her parking lot, cutting through to avoid the buses. “What if a child is coming out of my store and is hit by a car?” she asked. “Do you think anyone will take a look at  putting another stop sign or light here now?”

The cars landed in the yard of James and Cindy Hart. Cindy said that she was in the backyard when she heard a “bang bang.” When she came around the house, she saw the cars. But she wasn’t surprised. “All of the cars end up in my yard,” she noted, including one last year that she said stopped only inches from the house.

She said her husband has spoken with the township about trying to get a light at the intersection. “He has talked to a lot of people over the last 19 years, but nothing has been done,” she said.

“That car hit that tree so hard that it took the top off,” she said pointing to her yard. “That’s why we have the trees. He (James) planted them because they (the township) won’t do anything.”

Hart also complained that no one completely cleans up after the crashes. She said that officials might sweep up some glass off the road, but that she and her husband end up cleaning up a lot of debris–and repairing their property. “When we try to get a copy of the police report to submit a claim to insurance for repairing our property, they (police) say we have to pay for it,” she said. “It doesn’t seem fair.”

The Post called the Kent County Road Commission to get the facts on how many accidents have occurred at this intersection, and to find out if any kind of a study has been done or is warranted. We are waiting to hear back from them.

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Woman killed in fatal accident


A Kent City woman was killed in Tyrone Township last Friday, February 28, when her car crossed the centerline and hit an oncoming car.

Sherri Marlene Knapp, 54, of Kent City, was eastbound on 17 Mile, when she reportedly came upon a vehicle turning left on Sparta Avenue and passed it on the right, and drove on to the shoulder of the road. When she came back on to the road, she crossed the centerline and hit the other car.

Knapp died at the scene of her injuries. The other driver was not injured.

Police said alcohol was not a factor in the crash. The road was closed for several hours.

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