Photo: Michigan State Police

Accident On EB I-96 Leaves 1 Dead, Several Injured

Police suspect distracted driving was the cause

May 22, 2018 - 8:30 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) -- Police are investigating the cause of an accident on eastbound I-96 near Southfield Freeway that left a driver dead and several others injured.

Michigan State Police First Lt. Michael Shaw says at approximately 5 p.m. Tuesday a utility truck was traveling at a relatively high speed in congested traffic and smashed into a slower car in front of it. The truck was going so fast that it dragged the car down the freeway and smashed it into two other cars that were stopped in traffic.

The truck and the car it was connected with caught fire when they came to a stop. The truck driver was able to escape, but the driver of the smaller car was killed and the damage to the car was so bad that police could not even identify the make or model of the vehicle.

The drivers of the other two vehicles involved in the crash suffered minor injuries.

Shaw said he did not want to get into too much detail about the exact causes of the crash, but says it appears that some sort of distracted driving likely caused the driver of the truck to not recognize that traffic was slowing down considerably.

"We're really trying to stress the fact, especially coming into this Memorial [Day> weekend holiday, is you really need to pay attention when you're behind the wheel," Shaw said. "That's the most important thing that you could possibly do. When you're driving, you've got to drive. No texting, you've got to watch for the alcohol impairment. Watch out for other distractions when you're in the vehicle."

Pictures tweeted by Michigan State Police show just how horrific the damage to the deceased driver's vehicle was.

Investigators and a medical examiner were on the scene into the evening Tuesday trying to determine exactly what happened.