A crash and car fire Tuesday morning left two people dead and forced the closure of eastbound I-96, west of Fowlerville for more than five hours.
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office reports that the crash happened right around 7am with emergency personnel being dispatched to eastbound I-96 west of Fowlerville Road in Handy Township for the single vehicle crash. Preliminary investigation reveals a 2019 Subaru Ascent ran off the road to the right, then struck a tree and caught on fire. When the fire was extinguished, it was determined that the driver and front seat passenger had died in the crash. The vehicle was registered to a 72-year-old female from East Lansing and the identification of the two occupants is unknown at this time.
It’s unknown why the vehicle initially left the roadway. Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy tells WHMI they might not ever know why and unfortunately this might be one of those crashes where questions remain. He says there was no indication of contact with any other vehicle or a mechanical problem, the vehicle just appears to have drifted off. Murphy says typically when they see that it’s due to a medical condition so maybe that’s the case but it’s really all just speculation at this point. Murphy says hopefully an autopsy will be able to reveal if they can rule in or out any medical condition but because of the condition of the bodies that might not be possible and this might be one of those crashes where questions remain unanswered.
As a result of the crash, authorities closed a nearly five mile section of eastbound I-96 starting at M-52 in Ingham County to Nicholson Road in Livingston County. It was finally reopened shortly after noon.
Michigan State Police, Fowlerville Police, Livingston County Ambulance and the Fowlerville Area Fire Department assisted on scene. The crash remains under investigation by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Bureau. (JK/JM)