Drivers Exchanging Info After Crash On I-696 Fatally Struck By Passing Traffic

WWJ News
February 11, 2020 - 1:11 pm

ROYAL OAK (WWJ) - A busy stretch of I-696 in Royal Oak was closed for hours Tuesday morning, following a fatal crash.

The incident happened around 5:30 a.m. on eastbound I-696 near Woodward Avenue, shutting down the freeway at Woodward. 

According to Michigan State Police, two drivers were involved in a minor crash and were exchanging information outside of their vehicles when tragedy struck.

"It appears that both drivers of the first crash for some reason got out of their cars when the crash occurred and were struck by (two) vehicles that were eastbound on 696," Lt. Mike Shaw told WWJ's Charlie Langton.

Both victims — a 61-year-old Westland man and a 39-year-old Oak Park man — were declared dead at the scene. 

Police said one of the drivers that struck the pedestrians was admitted to a local hospital. The second was treated and released.

The freeway reopened just before 11 a.m., although drivers were told to expect residual backups. 

Shaw says anyone involved in a crash on the interstate should always stay in their vehicles.

"Do not get out of your car on the freeway when you're involved in a crash. Go to the next exit, pull as far over to the right shoulder if you want. But again, there's absolutely nothing wrong with going up to the next exit and calling law enforcement," he said. 

The investigation is ongoing. 

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