Lowell - The East Grand Rapids Department of Public Safety says Officer Michael Winchester was killed in an off-duty motorcycle crash south of Lowell Wednesday afternoon.
The accident happened around 3 p.m. near the intersection of 36th Street and Alden Nash Ave. SE, south of Lowell.
"It was quite quiet and all of a sudden we just heard a huge boom," says nearby resident Sandra VanWeelden. "It sounded like an explosion. Then I heard people start screaming."
Kent County Sheriff's deputies, who are investigating the crash, say Officer Winchester was headed northbound on Alden Nash when he lost control of his motorcycle. Winchester hit a southbound semi from Greenville-based Larsen Trucking.
"It appears as though the semi was operating legally and at a safe speed," says Lt. Kevin Kelley of the Kent County Sheriff's Department. "The motorcyclist, for some reason, lost control and crashed into the semi."
East Grand Rapids officials say Officer Winchester, 27, was a five-year veteran with the Dept. of Public Safety. He was an Upper Peninsula native who graduated from Lake Superior State University in 2002. They say he was given a certificate of recognition in October 2005 for his investigative efforts in drug interdiction.