March 16, 2022
To: Area Media
From: Captain Robert Buursma
REF: Stolen Vehicle involved in serious crash and death of unborn child
Earlier this morning, shortly after 3:00 a.m., an officer of the HDPS saw a 2018 Nissan Versa illegally parked along the street in the 100 block of E 15th St. The officer stopped and walked up to the vehicle intending to issue a parking citation but found the vehicle was occupied. The officer noted the ignition lock cylinder was damaged and began to question the occupant. The officer also determined the license plate on the vehicle was improper as it was registered to a Chevy vehicle.
After a brief conversation the officer asked the occupant to step out of the vehicle, however the occupant quickly put the vehicle in drive and fled the scene. Officers began to pursue the suspect vehicle but the driver extinguished the headlights and ran several stop signs and, as result, the officers terminated the pursuit. It was later determined that the Versa had been reported stolen out of Kalamazoo.
Shortly after 8:15 a.m. this morning, another officer in a fully marked cruiser spotted the Versa travelling west bound on 15th St. The officer flipped around in an attempt to stop the vehicle, however it is believed the suspect saw the cruiser turning as the suspect vehicle quickly accelerated. The suspect vehicle ran the stop sign at Central and then at River. As the Versa entered River Ave. it struck a 2011 Dodge Caravan which was north bound on River.
The suspect was taken into custody after the crash. River Ave. between 14th and 16th was shut down for approximately 2 hours for the investigation.
Occupants of suspect vehicle:
The suspect, a 21-year-old male from Kalamazoo. He was transported to Holland Hospital where he was treated and released for his injuries from the crash. His name is being withheld pending arraignment.
A 17-year-old Holland female was the front seat passenger and was transported to Holland Hospital for serious injuries. She was also pregnant and the unborn child died as a result of the crash.
A 16-year-old Holland female was in the rear seat. She was transported to Holland Hospital for her injuries.
Occupant of the Caravan:
A 35-year-old man from Fennville, who was not injured in the crash.
The suspect was arrested after being released from the Hospital and was lodged at the Ottawa County Jail. The Ottawa County Prosecutors office will review the incident for appropriate charges.