Probe into officer’s fatal crash doesn’t find cause
Norton Shores — Michigan State Police say the cause of a May crash that killed a police officer in western Michigan remains unknown.
Norton Shores Officer Jonathan Ginka was traveling at 46 mph and didn’t brake until the last second before his Ford Police Interceptor sedan struck a tree, killing him. State police on Friday released findings about the May 10 crash. His death was ruled accidental.
Investigators say the 34-year-old was wearing a seat belt and confirmed speed wasn’t a factor. He wasn’t using an electronic device.
Ginka’s vehicle left the road and traveled 145 feet over two seconds before striking the tree about 2:30 a.m. No other vehicles were involved in the crash. He was heading to the police station near the end of his 12-hour shift, which was to finish at 3 a.m.
Some police departments have experienced carbon monoxide leaking into the main cabin of Ford police SUVs. No department has reported carbon monoxide issues in the Ford police sedans, however, and officials did not say Friday that they believe carbon monoxide was a factor in the fatal west Michigan crash.
On Wednesday an officer in Massachusetts lost consciousness at the wheel of Ford’s SUV police vehicle and struck a civilian’s vehicle in Massachusetts. At least two police departments have now pulled their Police Interceptor Utility vehicles — made on the Explorer platform — from the road over related safety concerns.
“We are aware of the problem with the Explorers and that was taken into account and is being looked at,” in Ginka’s death, Lt. Mike Anderson of the MSP’s 6th district said on Friday.
An autopsy has been completed on Ginka, Anderson said, but he could not discuss those results.
MSP Lt. Chris McIntire was not immediately available for comment on the autopsy.
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