Driver Was On Suspended License When Crashing SUV With Kids in Car

Posted at 1:11 PM, Mar 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-31 21:21:42-04

ZEELAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. – An Ottawa County man remained hospitalized in critical condition Monday after a weekend crash which sent him – along with three child passengers – to the hospital.  On Monday, FOX 17 also learned 31-year-old Stephen Mattias, Holland, shouldn’t have been behind the wheel during the crash.

31-year-old Stephan Mattias, Holland, photo courtesy Michigan Department of Corrections

Over the weekend, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said Mattias crashed the GMC Envoy he was driving around 9:30 p.m. Saturday on the on-ramp to westbound I-196 from the I-196 Business Loop. Deputies said he lost control on the on ramp, crashed and rolled his vehicle.

Mattias was ejected from the SUV. He was taken to a Grand Rapids Hospital and is listed in critical condition.  Kaytlin Mattias, 9, Steffie Mattias, 8, and Temperance Mattias, 9 months, all of Holland Township, were passengers in the vehicle and received non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators tell FOX 17 News that because of the severity of the crash, Mattias was rushed to the hospital.  Detectives are awaiting toxicology tests to reveal what substances, if any, were in Mattias’ system at the time of the crash.

FOX 17 News investigated Mattias’ background Monday.  According Michigan Secretary of State records, Mattias had a suspended license at the time of the crash.  The suspension began last November.  Last August, records show he was driving without proof of insurance.  Most of his violations, however, stem from incidents in Lee County, Florida which began in 2009.  Besides a couple of speeding tickets in 2009, he was cited for operating while intoxicated in the Ft. Myers area in September 2010.

Stephan Mattias, photo courtesy Florida Department of Corrections

FOX 17 News obtained the police report from the Lee County Sheriff’s Department regarding the September 2010 incident.  It states, “On February 24, 2010 at 2:24 a.m. the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a single vehicle crash near the intersection of Daniels Parkway and Chamberlin Drive in Lee County, Florida.  Deputies responded and spoke with a witness who reported seeing two Hispanic males, one of whom was the driver, walk away from the vehicle and into a wooded area.  Due to the severity of the crash it appeared likely that anyone in the vehicle would have been severely injured.”

The report goes on to say, “Canine handler Deputy Michael Hollow responded and began a track with his partner, “Maverick”.  Deputy Hollow made repeated announcements identifying himself as ‘Lee County Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit’.”

“As ‘Maverick’ led deputies through a marshy area that was approximately waist-deep water, a subject that was previously submerged in the water stood up directly in front of the canine.  He then grabbed ‘Maverick’ and pulled him under the water.  As Deputy Hollow tried to assist his partner, he continued to tell the subject to quit fighting.  The sergeant observed the same person grab Deputy Hollow and pull him under the water as well.  As a result of his own violent actions, the subject was bitten by ‘Maverick’ several times on his right arm,” said the report.

As Mattias was being arrested, the police report states, “Mattias continued to refuse to walk, kept falling to the ground, and otherwise resisted deputies (sic) efforts to walk him out of the woods.”

A check on the Michigan Department of Corrections website shows Mattias’ status as a probationer until October 2015.  Under the terms of his probation, he is mandated by the following:  no violations of criminal law, not leave state without permission, monthly reporting and notify of change of residence.