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14-year-old identified as Coopersville 'swatting' accomplice


COOPERSVILLE, Mich.(WZZM) -- A 14-year-old former Coopersville student has been identified as an accomplice in a "swatting" incident that put the school district on lockdown last week.

On Thursday, Sept. 4, a caller made a threat against Coopersville Public Schools, prompting lockdown procedure as a precaution. Authorities did not find any evidence of a threat at the schools.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office says the 14-year-old forwarded information about the schools to a person he met online, who made the calls. That other person has not yet been identified and may not even live in Michigan or the U.S.

A 54-year-old Pentwater man who visited Coopersville High School earlier that day has been cleared of any involvement in the incident.

Teen charged in Coopersville schools threat


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Ottawa County Prosecutor's Office has authorized a two-count juvenile petition against the 14-year-old identified in the investigation into the threat made against the Coopersville schools last week.

He's charged with false report of a felony and using a computer to commit a crime.

He was lodged at the Ottawa County Youth Home Thursday and will be seen by juvenile court authorities within 24 hours, according to Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities are still investigating the case.


Second victim dies from wrong-way crash on I-96


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A passenger in a car struck last week by a wrong-way car on I-96 has died.

Dr. Shirley Van Hoeven, 79, of Montague, died from injuries suffered in Friday afternoon's crash near Marne.

Dr. Van Hoeven was a passenger in a vehicle heading west on I-96 when it was struck head-on by a vehicle heading east in the westbound lanes.

Dr. Van Hoeven was a professor emerita of communication at Western Michigan University. She served the university for 28 years, retiring in 1999.

Leslie Laymon, 83, was driving on a suspended license; the Secretary of State determined him to be not competent to drive. Laymon's wife also died in the crash.

Residents talk about confusing intersection: http://on.wzzm.com/1weRyMe


Residents talk about wrong-way site


MARNE, Mich. (WZZM) - Residents in Marne say the deadly crash Friday isn't the first time a wrong way driver has gone up the Eighth Avenue exit ramp to get onto I-96.

Some say more signs and design changes could clear up any confusion and avoid future wrong way fatalities.

"They need to have somebody who designs roads take a better look,
"
says Marne resident Pam Long.
"
They should put up some signs and make it a lot clearer.
"

Wrong-way driver had suspended license


MARNE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A driver who collided with another car while driving the wrong way on a highway in Marne on Friday was without a license at the time of the crash.

That's according to records from the Secretary of State.

The crash happened Friday afternoon, when police say 84 year old Leslie Laymon missed a turn on Ironwood Drive, and drove the wrong way up an exit ramp onto eastbound I-96.

Laymon's wife Donna died in the crash. Leslie Laymon and the two people in the other car, Donald and Shirley Vanhoeven, were taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The Laymons' neighbor, John Yonkers, says the couple didn't have any children, so he often helped them with things around the house before arranging services like Angel Care and Meals on Wheels for them.

1 killed in wrong-way crash on I-96


MARNE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Emergency crews responding to a wrong-way crash had to close the freeway in Ottawa County Friday afternoon.

The crash was reported around 3:30 p.m. on eastbound I-96 between the Marne and Walker exits.

Emergency crews shut down both sides of the freeway; the eastbound side was closed at the Marne exit. The westbound side was closed at Fruit Ridge.

The freeway has been opened again, along with eastbound exit 24.

Authorities say 83-year-old Leslie Laymon from Grand Rapids was westbound on Ironwood Dr. when he failed to yield and missed a curve, going airborne over a berm, and continuing westbound onto eastbound exit 24. He drove the wrong way for about a thousand feet before crashing.

'Swatting' suspected in Coopersville school threat case


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The threat that caused a lockdown at Coopersville Area Schools Thursday may have been a case of swatting, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

Friday morning, investigators said a person called in a threat from a cell phone with a blocked phone number. Capt. Mark Bennett said a suspect, who may have been in another state or country, claimed responsibility on Twitter.

RELATED: Lockdown lifted at Coopersville schools