LYON TOWNSHIP, MI – One person is dead and another injured after a semi truck accident early Thursday morning on April 1, 2010 in Oakland County, Michigan. The collision between the car and semi tractor trailer occurred on Grand River Avenue near Napier Road in Lyon Township, on the western edge of the Detroit metro region. The accident area is in the southeast section of the state, 57 miles southeast of Lansing, MI and 65 miles north of Toledo, Ohio.
Shortly after 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning on April 1, 28 year old Gerald Atkinson of South Lyon, MI was a passenger in a 1996 Saturn driven by his best friend, an unidentified 28 year old, traveling east on Grand River Avenue. A few moments later the driver of the Saturn apparently lost control of the car on Grand River Ave., just past the intersection with Napier Road. The Saturn driver crossed over the center line into the westbound lanes, directly in the path of an oncoming 2001 International semi tractor trailer truck.
The truck belonged to US Foodservice and the driver, identified only as a 48 year old man from Walled Lake, MI, was a long time employee who had just left the company’s plant on Napier Road, and was traveling west on Grand River Ave. when he saw the car coming right at him.
The truck driver maneuvered the loaded 18 wheeler truck into the eastbound lanes around the Saturn to avoid a collision, but then the Saturn moved back into the east lanes and crashed into the semi truck trailer’s back axle.
Oakland County Sheriff officers and emergency medical technicians responded to the scene of the truck accident. Mr. Atkinson, the passenger in the Saturn, suffered fatal injuries in the truck collision and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Saturn sustained serious injuries in the truck accident and was treated and stabilized at the scene. He was then transported to Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, MI, where he underwent surgery for a broken pelvis. He is currently listed in stable condition. The truck driver was not injured in the collision.
Oakland County Sheriff officers shut down Grand River Ave. while highway crews worked to clear the traffic lanes. The road would be closed to traffic for several hours.
Officers were also reconstructing the truck accident scene to determine what happened. After a preliminary investigation they believe that alcohol was a factor in the fatal truck collision. The truck driver and Mr. Atkinson were wearing their seat belts, but it is unclear if the driver of the Saturn had his on at the time of the truck accident.
The Sheriff’s Department Alcohol Enforcement Unit was granted a search warrant to obtain a blood alcohol test on the driver of the Saturn and they are expected to present a request for charges against the Saturn driver to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office. It will take several weeks before the test is completed and the results returned to the department.
No citations have been made at this time and the truck accident remains under investigation.
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