2018-03-29 / Courts

Coach arrested for leaving scene

Led tennis teams in county, West

SUTHERLAND SUTHERLAND The coach of the four-school Leelanau tennis program has been told to cease contact with students and faculty following his arrest for failing to stop Saturday morning after his vehicle struck a pedestrian in Glen Arbor.

Timothy Dale Sutherland, 64, of 5959 Forest Haven Dr., Glen Arbor, has been charged with failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident on his way to chaperon on a Glen Lake spectator bus headed to the Breslin Center to watch the Lakers play in the state final.

According to witnesses who spoke to deputies, Sutherland’s Toyota vehicle struck a 45- year- o l d man from Boyne Falls who had just stepped from his parked commercial truck onto Western Avenue.

Sutherland, when contacted by the Enterprise, referred a reporter to his attorney Dave Cvengros of Traverse City, who did not want to offer a comment on the record.

Deputies located Sutherland’s vehicle in the parking lot at Glen Lake High School and arrested him. He was lodged in the Leelanau County Jail.

The tennis program is sponsored by Glen Lake Community Schools with students also participating from the Leelanau School, Suttons Bay and Leland. The team plays in the fall during the boys’ tennis season, but also includes female athletes.

Recently Sutherland was hired as the girls varsity tennis coach for Traverse City West. The girls team started its season on March 19 with a match against Traverse City St. Francis.

Glen Lake superintendent Sander Scott said Sutherland’s future status with the Leelanau tennis program has yet to be determined.

“(I) sent him a letter stating that he needs to schedule a meeting with me asap,” wrote Scott in responding to a request for information about Sutherland. “That’s a part of due process. Until that meeting is held, he is to have no contact with students or staff.”

Sutherland has been charged with “failure to stop at a scene of a personal injury accident,” a one-year misdemeanor that can also include a fine of up to $1,000.

A press release issued by the county Sheriff’s Office stated that the victim “was thrown up in the air by the impact and landed in the roadway. While witnesses attended to the victim, the suspect vehicle came back, turned, and then left the scene.”

The pedestrian was transported to Munson Health Care for treatment.

Another witness reported seeing a vehicle that matched the description of Sutherland’s car traveling on Dunns Farm Road “at a high rate of speed.”

Return to top