Crash victim in critical, stable condition.

March 17, 2016

By Allison Scarbrough and Rob Alway, MCP staff.

HAMLIN TOWNSHIP — A 20-year-old woman critically injured in a single-vehicle crash on North Lakeshore Drive near Jagger Road Wednesday night, March 16, has stabilized, according to the Hart post of the Michigan State Police.

A motel employee at Motel Lakewood, at 1934 N. Lakeshore Dr., said the crash victim is Shelby Sowle, who has an address on N. James St., in Ludington. The motel employee, who did not want to be named, said Sowle had been staying at the motel for nearly three weeks. The motel is located just north of the crash scene.

Sowle, who had to be extricated from the vehicle using Jaws of Life, was not impaled by a tree, said Hamlin Township Fire Chief Steve Vandervest. The initial emergency dispatch indicated that she was impaled, but she was not, Vandervest said. Emergency personnel were called to the scene at 9:43 p.m.

Witness Al Geist said he and his wife, Teri Wilson, watched the car travel south on Lakeshore Drive and then went down the side of the road into some trees about 200 feet from the Lincoln Hills Golf Club entrance. The car struck a tree and was in “thick brush,” Geist said. He turned his vehicle around and went back to the scene while his wife called 911. Geist said at that point another vehicle had also stopped to render aid. Officers from Ludington Police Department were the first on the scene.

Geist said he did not see anyone else in the vehicle. Law enforcement personnel were searching for a “boyfriend’s” vehicle. Sowle was transported to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital and an Aeromed helicopter was called to the hospital to transport her to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

The motel employee said police searched Sowle’s room after the crash, and told her they “cleared it.” The employee said she did not hear any type of commotion, indicating that an altercation occurred, from Sowle’s room prior to the crash. She said she talked to other motel guests, and they also did not hear anything.

Sowle’s boyfriend was staying with her at the motel the first week, the employee said. “But I haven’t seen his truck on a regular basis since the first week,” she said. She said Sowle and her boyfriend work for local dairy farms.

Responding to the scene were Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Ludington Police Department, Hamlin Township Fire Department, Ludington Fire Department and Life EMS.

The crash is under investigation.

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