Toyota To Help Police Find Cause Of Fatal Weekend Crash
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Toyota says it’s going to offer its assistance to Green Oak Township police investigators, who are trying to find out what caused a weekend crash, that killed five people.
Witnesses say a 2002 Toyota Prius crossed the center median, flipped several times, and slammed into a Chevy Blazer.
Toyota says in the wake of its recent recall, it established special “Smart teams” to investigate incidents involving Toyota vehicles. One of those teams is located at Toyota’s Technical Center, just south of Ann Arbor.
A Toyota spokesman told WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert that the company will reach out to police to help in whatever way possible. That could include accessing the data recorder on the vehicle, to help police determine just how fast the 2002 Prius was going at the time of the crash.
There is no evidence of sudden acceleration in this case, and this particular vehicle has not been implicated. But, Toyota says it wants to help police determine exactly what happened.
Autopsy results released Tuesday found the 18-year-old driver involved in the crash was conscious when he crossed a median into oncoming traffic. The medical examiner said that Matt Kolstoe didn’t have any kind of medical problem that may have contributed to the accident.
Toxicology reports are still pending.
Meantime, families of the victims remain in shock. Surrounded by photos of her daughter in her living room, Holly Comstock talked Monday about the three unanswered text messages and the unreturned phone call she made to her 18-year-old daughter, Heather, the day before.
It had been more than three hours since she heard from the University of Michigan freshman, who was heading home to Okemos with friends.
“I called my husband and said, ‘It’s about 6:30. I don’t get it,”’ Comstock said. “She always calls me.”
This time, there would be no call from Heather.
Her daughter, Heather’s boyfriend, Matthew Kolstoe, and Sarina Seger, 18, of Williamston, died in the crash at 3:30 Sunday. They were on their way home after attending festivities in Ann Arbor surrounding her school’s annual football game against Michigan State University.
The victims in the SUV were identified as Cynthia Skutt, 62, and Alfred King, 56, of Fremont, Ohio.
Another 18-year-old in the car with the teens remained in critical condition Tuesday.
Holly Comstock, wearing a gray pullover with Michigan written across the chest, told The Associated Press that Heather’s plan was to return to Okemos on Sunday evening so she could pick up her car and go back to Ann Arbor for Monday classes. She was majoring in molecular biochemistry, stem cell research and organ transplant engineering.
Holly Comstock learned about the fatal crash about 9 p.m. Sunday from a friend of the Comstock and Seger families.
The site of a fatal crash is scheduled for safety improvements.
As part of a road construction project, the Michigan Department of Transportation says the freeway will be resurfaced and workers will install cable median barriers to prevent vehicles from crossing the median.
The improvements will be completed next year from M-36 north to the Livingston County line.
© MMX WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to his report.