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Police report: Suspended Union High School football coach arrested for drunk driving hit pedestrian

Fellows is facing failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident, operating while intoxicated, and failure to stop after a collision charges.
Credit: Jamal Spencer
Union High School football head coach Don Fellows enjoys a Redhawks victory.

NORTH MUSKEGON, Mich. — Monday, Grand Rapids Public Schools suspended the head football coach of Union High School after a drunk driving incident Saturday night. Now, it's come out that the coach, 48-year-old Donald Fellows, also hit a pedestrian who was trying to get him to stop the vehicle.

Fellows is facing failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident, operating while intoxicated, and failure to stop after a collision charges.

Officers were initially advised Saturday night of a suspicious situation which was upgraded to a driving complaint and then to a pedestrian struck, according to a police report obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. 

A North Muskegon Police Department Officer found a large crowd in the street at the corner of 2nd St. and Mills Ave, the report details. People in the crowd alerted the officer they needed an ambulance because a man had been hit by Fellows' vehicle. He saw the man lying in the road unconscious. After advising dispatch, he turned and saw Fellows' vehicle going around the block and back onto Ruddiman, the report states. 

Fellows was driving a Chevrolet Suburban eastbound on Ruddiman Drive when the officer pulled him over in front of the police department. His vehicle was tilted to the front passenger side and there were sparks coming off of it. 

Officers reported that Fellows was compliant, even admitting multiple times that he was drunk. They also said he smelled like alcohol, displayed a lack of balance and had slurred speech. They also found empty beer cans in his vehicle, police reported. 

The man who had been hit was brought to a nearby hospital.

People on scene also alerted police to a nearby car which appeared to have been struck, alleging Fellows had hit it. Police investigated the car and collected car parts left at the scene to see if they matched Fellows' vehicle.

The alleged incident did not involve GRPS or any of the district's students, the school said.

“We are saddened by these developments but committed to ensuring continuity for our scholar-athletes. An interim replacement coach has been appointed and he will assume leadership responsibilities immediately,” GRPS Executive Director of Athletics Kurt Johnson said. “Our focus is and always has been on the best interest of the scholars we serve. We know that their participation on the Union High School football team has been enriching and we won’t allow that to change.”

Assistant Coach Scott Van Essen was named interim head coach effective immediately. Practice went on as scheduled Monday, the district said in a letter notifying parents obtained by 13 OYS.

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