Driver sentenced for freeway accident that injured Wyoming police officer, woman

A man involved in a crash on U.S. 131 that injured a Wyoming police officer and a stranded motorist entered pleas in his criminal case today.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A Dorr man was assessed fines and court costs after pleading no contest to two charges stemming from a February freeway crash that injured a Wyoming police officer and a motorist he was assisting on U.S. 131.

Jeffrey Lee Huizinga, 37, entered pleas to two misdemeanor counts of moving violation causing serious impairment of a body function. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of failing to use due care when passing a stationary emergency vehicle.

The pleas were entered Monday, June 19, before Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock on the day Huizinga’s trial was to get underway.

The judge ordered that Huizinga pay $775 in fines and court costs; no jail time was assessed. Huizinga will also lose his driver’s license for one year.

“This was nothing more than an unfortunate accident,’’ defense attorney Edward Lis said. “He has an otherwise spotless driving record.’’

The accident occurred shortly after 1 a.m. on Feb. 1 in the northbound lanes of U.S. 131 near 44th Street SW.

Wyoming officer Ryan Silvis was assisting a Grand Rapids woman, who lost control of her pickup and struck a concrete barrier dividing the north and southbound lanes of the freeway.

Silvis parked his patrol car near the disabled vehicle, which was blocking the left passing lane and part of the center lane.  He activated lights to direct northbound traffic to an open lane of the freeway. As he walked towards the disabled motorist, identified as Kelsey Morgan Hickey, a northbound car driven by Huizinga struck the pickup, pushing it into Silvis, Wyoming police said.

The impact sent Silvis flying more than 30 feet. Hickey was pinned against the concrete barrier, police said.

Both were taken to the hospital for treatment of their injuries and released.

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety called attention to the accident to remind the public to slow down and proceed with caution when they observe emergency lights. 

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