A man died in a fiery crash off westbound I-96 in Ottawa County’s Polkton Township on Wednesday morning, but his identity was not immediately known.
The burned vehicle has been determined to be a white Ford Explorer with a model year between 1995 and 2001.
The crash occurred shortly after 8 a.m. near 88th Avenue, between Coopersville and Nunica.
Sgt. Bob Ruster of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said witnesses told police that the westbound SUV was traveling erratically and at a high rate of speed prior to the crash.
The vehicle went off the road just east of 88th Avenue and down the embankment, then went airborne and slammed into a tree, Ruster said. It immediately caught on fire.
Ruster said the witnesses tried to approach the vehicle to help the driver, but the fire was too hot and they had to back away.
Coopersville-Polkton and Crockery Township firefighters responded to the scene.
Traffic was down to one lane on westbound I-96 past Coopersville for at least a couple of hours after the crash while officials completed their investigation.
Man dies in fiery I-96 crash