GV freshman dies on way to classes Friday

Samantha Butcher

Grand Valley State University freshman Danielle Clouse was killed in a car accident Friday morning after dropping her sisters off at school.

Clouse was driving to the Allendale Campus for classes when a pickup truck driver ran a stop sign and crashed into the driver’s side door of Clouse’s Chevrolet Cavalier at 8:23 a.m., police said. It was unclear what caused the driver, Jerome Hitsman, 73, to drive past the stop sign, located at the intersection of New Holland Street and 96th Avenue in Zeeland, but Ottawa County police said Hitsman may face charges.

“This crash remains under investigation by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department,” said Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Austin. “Upon completion of the report, a copy will be forwarded to the Ottawa County prosecutor.”

Clouse was taken to Spectrum-Zeeland Community Hospital, where she died shortly after arrival. Hitsman and his passenger, an unnamed 10-year-old, were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

A 2011 graduate of Black River High School in Holland, Mich., Clouse had yet to decide on her major, but family told the Grand Rapids Press she was a talented student whose interests included writing and art.

Visitation for Clouse will be Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Chappell Funeral Home in Fennville. The funeral is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday.

managingeditor @lanthorn.com