Van transporting 7 Hart children crashes in Muskegon County.

May 24, 2021

Van transporting 7 Hart children crashes in Muskegon County.

No one was wearing a seatbelt.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

NORTON SHORES — Seven of nine occupants — all of whom are from Hart — were injured in a rollover crash Sunday, May 23, at 1:15 p.m. on US 31 south of Airline Road in Muskegon County, according to Michigan State Police Spl./Lt. Michelle Robinson, Sixth District Public Information Officer.

The 1993 Ford Econoline van was southbound on US 31 when cars began to brake suddenly in front of them, according to the MSP accident report. The driver — a 37-year-old Hart woman — lost control of the van, which overturned several times in the ditch. Two people were ejected from the van.

There were seven children in the van who range in age from 8-15 years of age, said Robinson. No one was wearing a seat belt, she said, and the 8-year-old was not in a child seat.

One of the children who was ejected from the van received a broken leg, said Robinson. Another child suffered a broken arm. The others who were injured received minor cuts and scrapes, she said. 

The two families were traveling back from the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, and the driver missed an exit for a restaurant and was headed back south on US 31 before the crash, said Lt. Robinson. 

A ticket has not yet been issued to the driver, she said, because the accident remains under investigation.

As the summer season approaches and traffic increases in the area, law enforcement is in the midst of the Click It or Ticket campaign. The campaign, which runs from May 17 to June 6, reminds drivers and passengers of the importance of buckling up and the legal consequences – including fines – for not wearing a seat belt. 

“No matter what type of vehicle you drive, one of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up,” states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. “As you head out around the Memorial Day holiday, you’ll likely see more law enforcement on the roads as part of Click It or Ticket.”

A post on the Hart Public Schools Community Facebook page indicates that monetary donations are being accepted at Spitler Elementary School to help cover some expenses for the victims. Call 231-873-6364 for more information. 

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