05-30-2019 Police Reports

Police Reports By Annette Christie Serious two-car accident lands many in hospital; one in jail Amid the heavy traffic of the Memorial Day Lane Automotive Car Show, first responders were dispatched to a two-car injury accident at the intersection of M-140 and Dan Smith Road in Watervliet Township. The two-car accident occurred on Saturday, May 25 at 12:55 p.m. Emergency responders found that a 1968 Pontiac GTO driven by Lawrence Hamilton of Buchanan had just left Lane Automotive and was headed south on M-140 when a Chrysler 300 going westbound on Dan Smith Road pulled into the path of the GTO causing serious injuries. Traffic had been backed up south from the exit to Lane Automotive to Dan Smith Road when other motorists created a gap for the Chrysler to cross over M-140. The Chrysler, driven by Jason Strampel of Breedsville, Michigan, failed to yield causing the collision. The front seat passenger of the GTO, Doris Hamilton, was airlifted to Bronson Hospital for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The driver, Lawrence Hamilton and his backseat passenger and daughter Ashley Ferrell, were transported to Spectrum Lakeland Hospital for leg and rib injuries. Strampel and his four passengers were all treated and released for minor bumps and bruises. Jason Strampel, 41, was booked at the Berrien County Jail for several charges including operating a vehicle under the influence causing serious injury, possession of narcotics, and four counts of child endangerment.

Coloma Township Police activity On May 24, 2019 at approximately 8:30 p.m. at Little Paw Paw Lake Road and Johnson Road, Coloma Township Police Officer Brett Langston noticed a red Toyota Camry that was earlier described as possibly having a wanted felon inside of it. Officer Langston attempted to pull the vehicle over and the vehicle ended up going into a ditch. The passenger, identified as Cody Bryant, took off running. Bryant, 26, was later captured and it was determined that he was in possession of methamphetamine and had several felony warrants out of Berrien County and Coloma Township. The driver, identified as Trisha Harness, 26, was also arrested on felony charges and booked into the Berrien County Jail. The Coloma Township Police Department, working off a tip from a citizen, arrested parole absconder Matthew Jordan at 5082 Paw Paw Lake Rd. #6 on May 23, 2019. Jordan was booked into the Berrien County Jail on his parole detainer. The Coloma Township Police Department was assisted by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Watervliet Township deputies. The Michigan Department of Corrections, assisted by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and the Coloma Township Police Department located a parole violation offender in Coloma Township on May 28, 2019. Matthew Green was located at 7452 Red Arrow Highway. He was found hiding in the attic under some insulation.

Holiday traffic deaths down Preliminary reports indicate 10 people lost their lives in eight separate traffic crashes during the 2019 Memorial Day holiday weekend. In comparison, 19 people were killed in 15 fatal traffic crashes during the 2018 Memorial Day holiday weekend. Of the eight deadly crashes, restraint use was unknown in five, alcohol was a known factor in one of the deadly crashes, one involved a motorcyclist who was wearing a helmet, and one victim was a pedestrian. “These numbers are preliminary and only reflect those fatalities reported to the Michigan State Police as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 28, 2019,” stated Jim Flegel, MSP Traffic Safety Specialist. “We continue to urge motorists to make responsible driving decisions and always ensure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained. Never operate a vehicle impaired on alcohol or drugs and avoid distractions at all times,” Flegel added.