Updated: Grandmother killed after crash with grandkids in the car

Updated: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Updated: Grandmother killed after crash with grandkids in the car story image

KENT COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Three brothers are lucky to be alive after a car crash killed their grandmother on Tuesday night.

Michigan State Police say the 66-year-old woman from Nashville lost control of her car around 3:30 pm Tuesday on M-50 near Freeport Road in Kent County.

MSP says two of the three brothers in that car escaped with minor injuries while the third was taken to DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. Police say that boy’s injuries are non-life-threatening.

Police are still working to determine exactly what caused the crash. Based on statements from the brothers, investigators believe the grandmother may have had a medical issue, possibly a stroke, which caused her to lose control.

Newschannel 3 spoke with a woman who heard the car strike a large tree stump in front of her home.

“I heard a lot of squealing tires,” said Elizabeth Vredevelt. “We all heard a boom. I yelled, there’s been an accident.”

Elizabeth’s mother, Marie, says she called 911 as her mind raced.

“What can I do to help,” said Marie of the questions running through her mind. “What am I going to encounter, do I need something.”

However, Marie says she was able to calm herself and act swiftly.

“She gave me a towel and I grabbed the scissors in case they may need help to get out,” said Elizabeth.

As they ran out, they saw another motorist had stopped.

“She was saying we need help,” said Elizabeth.

At the same time, Elizabeth saw one of the 13-year-old passengers.

“He climbed out of the window,” said Elizabeth.

That boy’s 10-year-old brother was also able to climb out the window, but the boys’ grandmother was motionless at the wheel.

“She was definitely pinned up against the dash of the car and was not conscious,” said Marie.

The other 13-year-old boy was also pinned, but in the back of the vehicle.

“The young man in the back said ‘Oh help,’” said Marie. “It wasn’t yelling but he was saying ‘When are they getting here,’ and I said it seems like forever, they’re on their way.”

State Police say it took more than an hour and a half to free the young man from the vehicle and get him to the hospital.

Police say they’re not sure if the grandmother died as a result of the crash or the possible stroke they believe may have caused the crash. They are hoping an autopsy will provide some answers.

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