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Car plunges off I-96 into Thornapple River; victim identified

8:55 AM, Oct 31, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Ionia man killed crashing off I-96 into river

Video: I-96 bridge victim father of police chief

Thornapple River at I-96 and M-6 - view from Thornapple GC

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A 75-year-old Ionia man is dead after crashing his car into the Thornapple River. The crash happened around 9 a.m. Wednesday on westbound I-96 near M-6.

Witnesses tell police William Steere's 2011 Mercury Marquis left the interstate and entered the grassy median at a high rate of speed. The vehicle did not brake before crashing into the bridge barrier and falling into the river.

Steere is the father of Daniel Steere, who is the current Chief of Police in Grandville.

Two deputies jumped into the river to try to reach the vehicle, but had to turn back.  Dive teams and officers from the Michigan State Police, the Kent County Sheriff, the Cascade Fire Department, the Caledonia Fire Department, the Kent County Road Commission, and LIFE EMS Ambulance all assisted at the scene.

State police say they don't know if Steere had some kind of medical condition and what caused his death.

Eastbound I-96 at M-6 was closed for several hours Wednesday morning due to the crash. The vehicle has been pulled from the water.

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