TRAVERSE CITY — Remnants from an apparent drunken driving incident that left one man in jail and another hospitalized caused a traffic snarl along U.S. 31 near Three Mile Road.
Crews assisted by Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputies closed a section of the five-lane road during the Thursday morning commute to repair a power pole that was damaged when a vehicle struck it just after midnight. The roadway re-opened at 8:45 a.m.
The crash left a Traverse City man, 24, in serious condition at Munson Medical Center and a Kingsley man, 25, in jail. The Kingsley man likely will face charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury, possession of marijuana, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and open intoxicant, according to a statement released by investigators.
Deputies say the damage was caused when two vehicles traveling east collided, sending one of them off the road and into the utility pole. The Kingsley man and his vehicle were found a short time later at a nearby hotel, according to the statement.
Authorities say they also will seek OWI charges against the Traverse City man.
The morning diversion caused traffic backups as far south as Hammond Road while drivers were diverted away from the area.