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A Holland man was struck and killed by a semi today on U.S. 23 in Sylvania after authorities said he walked out of Flower Hospital where he had been hospitalized.
Sylvania police said 37-year-old Jeffrie Shirey was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities said Mr. Shirey was apparently walking along the U.S. 23 berm just south of Monroe Street, when he was struck by a southbound semi driven by William Grafe, 46, of Brighton, Mich. at about 3 p.m. Mr. Grafe, who was transporting soybeans from a Michigan farm, was not injured in the incident, police said.
Sylvania police did not say why Mr. Shirey was walking along the highway but at some point before the fatal incident he walked out of Flower Hospital where he had been a patient for the past two days, said Steve Kahle, a Lucas County Cororner's Office Investigator.
"He had been in a hospital gown and at some point changed into street clothes. For whatever reason, he decided to leave and nobody knew he left," he said.
Hospital officials said Mr. Shirey was discovered missing from his room by members of the nursing staff shortly before 3 p.m. At that point the hospital activated a Code Brown, which alerts hospital staff that a patient is missing, and the hospital's security team began searching for him, said Tedra White, ProMedica spokesman.
Shortly thereafter, the security team received a call from the Sylvania fire department that Mr. Shirey had been struck and killed, and upon receiving confirmation, a representative from the coroner’s office notified family members, she said.
Although Mr. Shirey was not discharged and left the hospital voluntarily, Ms. White said there will be a review of hospital policies and procedures.
"Our thoughts and condolences are with the family of Mr. Jeffrie Shirey during this very difficult time," the hospital wrote in a written statement it released later today.
Mr. Shirey had been admitted to the hospital on Monday. Officials would not say why he was hospitalized, citing privacy laws.
His body was transported to the Lucas County Coroner's Office, where an autopsy will be performed.
The accident remains under investigation.
- Marlene Harris-Taylor