By Kelli Ameling and Cory Smith
Daily new staff writers
LANGSTON — A Stanton man was taken to the hospital after failing to stop at a traffic sign and crashing into a Freightliner dump truck Wednesday afternoon.
Douglas Rios, a 24-year-old male from Stanton, was traveling eastbound on Stanton Road in a 1999 Jeep Cherokee at about 12:45 p.m.. He failed to stop at stop sign at the intersection of M-91 and crashed into the The driver of the dump truck that was hauling a trailer.
The truck and trailer, both loaded with gravel, are owned by High Grade Material of Greenville and was driven by 37-year-old Timothy Sleight of Stanton.
Sleight was uninjured, however, tires on the truck were blown out from the accident.
“The jeep fishtailed into the semi,” said Montcalm County Sheriff’s Detective Rob McVey.
After hitting the trailer of the truck, the jeep bounced off the guardrail and ended with the vehicle facing south on M-91.
The drivers were the only occupants in each vehicle, and both were wearing seat belts.
Rios emerged from the vehicle, and laid down in a yard close by while several witnesses, such as nearby resident Brian Cozort, called for help and rushed to aid the driver.
“I heard the accident and was out here about five seconds after it happened,” Cozart said. “I ran outside and found the car. I saw him laying on the ground. He was sitting up and coherent and there were a few people already gathered around him, helping him.”
Once ensuring the Rios was attended to, Cozart began directing traffic as other witnesses began clearing debris from the road until emergency personnel arrived on scene.
Employees at nearby Superior Boat and Motors heard the accident from inside the business and said they felt the building shake, describing the situation “like a grenade going off.”
“I heard the tires squeal, a bang, and then the whole building shook,” Derek Buchholz said. “I ran outside and could smell gas, so I ran back inside, grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran out to the accident. By the time I got to the vehicle, he was already out of the car and laying in the grass.”
In his 13 years as a technician at Superior Boat and Motors, Buchholz said he estimates there are one to two accidents at the intersection of Stanton Road and M-91 per year.
“This happens at least once a year, if not twice,” he said. “There needs to be a light put in at this intersection.”
McVey did not know the condition of the Cherokee’s driver at the time of the accident, but said he was taken to Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville by ambulance for non-life threatening injuries.
A large amount of debris was scattered from the Jeep including children’s items, paper and beer cans.
When asked about the beer cans and if alcohol was a factor, McVey said it wasn’t clear if the cans were just part of he debris or if the driver was drinking. He said a blood-alcohol test would be performed if necessary.
“The accident is still under investigation,” McVey said.
According to a press release Today, Rios was cited for disregarding a stop sign.