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Drunk driver puts four in hospital with stolen car

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. - When a Van Buren County man gets out of the hospital he’s going to jail.

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department said 32-year-old Adam Matthews from Bangor is facing several possible charges. Matthews caused a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of County Road 687 and 8th Avenue, just outside of South Haven, Sunday night.

Matthews and four others were still hospitalized Tuesday afternoon.  

“The front end was completely demolished on it,” said 72-year-old Roy Nickerson who witnessed the crash. “The inside was demolished and there (were) five kids in it when I got here.”

Police said Matthews was under the influence of alcohol and ran a stop sign at intersection. The vehicle, which police identified as stolen, ran into an oncoming car.

All four passengers were transported to nearby hospitals for their injuries. The passengers were 23-year-old Kenny Little of Grand Junction, 19-year-old Britnee Fowler of Bloomingdale, 18-year-old Breanne Wiacek of Bangor and 15-year-old Paige Thompson of Bangor. Fowler and Thompson were transported by helicopter.


“The girls were trying to crawl out of the car when I got there,” said Nickerson.


“I’ve never seen a person contorted in that sort of position,” said David Wenzel who lives across the street and was the first person to respond. “I knew it was bad.”


Wenzel and his girlfriend Elizabeth Mielke said Thompson appeared to be in the most severe condition. “All I could think of was being a mother and it was horrible,” said Mielke.

Police said Matthews fled from the scene after the accident. A K-9 search was unsuccessful but Matthews was found later Sunday night in Coloma with a different stolen car.


The driver of the second car was uninjured.


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