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Man killed in crash on icy I-75



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January 15, 2014 - A multi-vehicle crash on I-75 at Sashabaw Road, Monday, tied up traffic for hours, and left one man dead and others injured.

Icy conditions and fast drivers contributed to the series of accidents, according to Michigan State Police, which is handling the investigation. Chief Steve Ronk, Independence Township Fire Department, agreed.

"Drivers on the freeway get going and they don't think they'll have to stop," Ronk said. "They'll get up to 40, 50 miles per hour and think that's slow enough. It isn't."

According to police, the driver, a Clinton Township man, lost control and spun out into the left lane of I-75 at about 5:50 a.m., Jan. 20, hitting a van. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The highway was closed for several hours for investigation and cleanup. During this time, a fire engine and fire department command vehicle were both struck by vehicles unable to stop on the ice.

"They were parked to block the incident while still leaving room for traffic," Ronk said. "The vehicles came around that curve and couldn't stop."

No firefighters were injured, but one of the drivers were taken by ambulance for treatment of minor injuries, he said.

Drivers should expect more icy roads as winter freezes continue, Ronk said.

"Just a little humidity will do it," he said. "Black ice can come upon you any time. The worst thing to do when that happens is jump on the brake."

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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