River crash victim had heart disease, passed out

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say heart disease likely caused a 75-year-old man to pass out before his car plunged into a western Michigan river.

MLive.com reports (http://bit.ly/1ai8gg8 ) Friday that William Steere lost consciousness Wednesday in the fatal crash into the Thornapple River while driving on I-96 in Kent County’s Cascade Township. Medical examiner David Start says Steere had severe coronary artery disease and an enlarged heart consistent with hypertension.

The pathologist’s report says he died of a neck fracture with a spinal cord injury.

Steere’s Mercury Grand Marquis traveled down the median for several hundred yards and fell into the river near Grand Rapids.

He was the father of Grandville Police Chief Dan Steere.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press:MLive.com, http://www.mlive.com

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