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Tag Archive | "tyrone township"

Kent City grad dies in crash


Isaiah Slater. Photo from his facebook page.

Isaiah Slater. Photo from his facebook page.

An 18-year-old Tyrone Township teen was killed last weekend when he crashed his vehicle while trying to pass another car.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred on Saturday, November 12, about 3:10 p.m., on Red Pine Drive, north of 18 Mile Rd. Police said that witnesses reported a southbound 2003 Mercury Sable tried to pass another southbound vehicle, and lost control. The car then left the roadway, rolled over, and crashed into several trees on the west side of the road.

The driver of the vehicle, Isaiah Slater, 18, of Tyrone Township, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. There was no one else in the car, and no other vehicles involved in the crash.

Police believe that speed was a factor in the crash, but alcohol and drugs are not thought to be factor. He was wearing his seatbelt.

Isaiah is the son of Gerald and Deborah Slater. According to his obituary, he had attended Algoma Christian School, and graduated from Kent City High School in 2016. He was attending Grand Rapids Community College.

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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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Child on bike hit by truck

A 9-year-old boy was hospitalized Monday after he was hit by truck while riding his bicycle in Tyrone Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Kenneth Huizenga, age 9, was riding his bike south on Big John Ct NW, in a private housing development, at about 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 23, when he failed to stop and rode into the path of a westbound truck on Black Hills South Dr. NW. He suffered both head and facial injuries, and was taken to Butterworth Hospital by Rockford Ambulance. He was not wearing a helmet.

The driver of the Dodge Ram pickup, Ricky Roberts, 57, of Tyrone Township, was not injured. Police said that speed and alcohol were not factors in the accident, and that it is still under investigation.


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A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes

Howard Christensen Nature Center takes steps to reopen

Ranger Steve Mueller leads a group on a nature walk at Howard Christensen Nature Center in this Post file photo.

By Tom Noreen

A group of about 30 people gathered at the Tyrone Township Hall on March 3 to learn about the progress made in reopening the Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC), 16160 Red Pine Dr, in Kent City, as its own nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. The center closed in January due to a funding shortage.

Cindy Perski, with the assistance of Kathy Reed (former director under the Kent Conservation District) has taken the lead at creating the umbrella organization that would oversee the center. Perski recently retired as CEO of a manufacturing company in Southwest Michigan. After retirement, she sought out Reed to volunteer at HCNC, only to find out that the center was going to close. Perski’s goal is “to give a legacy to our communities, children, to volunteer with a purpose, to give unselfishly, to expect nothing back in return, to leave this life better than I found it. It is an act of responsibility to leave a positive legacy.” She decided to put her words into action and see what she could do to bring the nature center back to life.

During the meeting, former director Ranger Steve Mueller gave a brief history of the center and its primary goal of education. The Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) ran the facility from 1976 until it closed in 2005 because of budgetary constraints. The KISD owns the 142-acre facility and would be willing to negotiate a lease with a qualified nonprofit as they did with the Kent Conservation District (KCD).

KCD Chair, Connie Redding, explained that the KCD used the facility to not only provide educational opportunities to school children but as a demonstration site for the services that KCD provides to land owners in the county. She briefed that funding was the primary reason for not renewing their lease. During the four years that the KCD ran HCNC, the center ran a loss of about $30,000. She said, “We will be willing to help and are very supportive of this plan.”  One attendee asked about the 10-year Forestry Plan and she said the plan was still intact and all it needed was an individual or organization to execute it.

One of the primary agenda items was identification of potential directors/advisors for the board. While Perski has filed the initial forms for creating the nonprofit under the name Lily’s Frog Pad, a board must be established to take responsibility.

Reed said, “We are looking for a diversified board with different talents in such areas as finance, marketing, education, fund raising, and legal.” According to the draft by-laws, the board must have at least three members and up to ten. Cindy asked those interested in being on the board to leave their name. She plans to contact each and have a follow-up meeting within the next two weeks.

One of the first actions of the board is to agree on a name for the organization, which may be different from the actual center. Kathy affirmed that the Christensen family was supportive of this plan and of using the current name. Perski said that, from a marketing perspective, the organization’s name should be short, easy to remember and have an association with the location. An example she gave was “Pure Nature.” Those in attendance were asked to submit ideas for the organization’s name.

Reed was questioned about current funding for the group and she said that a $3,000 matching grant was available once the organization could open a checking account. She said she already had matching funds for this. The historical operating expenses for part-time operation was between $35,000 and $40,000.

There was a great deal of positive input from the audience regarding potential uses, fundraising, and collaborating opportunities. The group left with a sense of encouragement that a bright new future awaits HCNC.

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Man flees accident in Tyrone Twp.

A man could be facing charges for fleeing the scene of a personal injury accident last Friday.

The Kent County Sheriffs Department were called to the scene of an accident at 22 Mile Road and Red Pine Drive in Tyrone Township about 7:15 a.m. September 4. According to Lt. Kevin Kelly, a Jeep driven by a 37-year-old woman was traveling south on Red Pine Drive NW, when it was struck by a Grand Prix traveling westbound on 22 Mile. The Grand Prix failed to stop at the intersection, and struck the driver’s side door of the Jeep. Both the female driver and her 8-year-old son, who was a passenger in the backseat, were taken to the hospital with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Grand Prix fled the scene on foot but was tracked with the assistance of a Michigan State Police canine unit and taken into custody.

According to Lt. Kelley, the case is still under investigation, and they plan to pursue some type of charges against the driver that fled.

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