WASHINGTON TWP. (WWJ) – A Detroit man driving a dump truck/tractor-trailer says he fell asleep just before he caused a chain-reaction crash involving ten vehicles on M-53.
The initial crash happened just before 8 a.m. Thursday on M-53, the Van Dyke Freeway in Washington Township, according to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham says a preliminary investigation revealed the 55-year-old truck driver, working for Heavy Metal Trucking in Warren, struck the first of six passenger vehicles that were stopped for a red light in the right lane of northbound M-53, just south of 32 Mile.
The first collision initiated a chain-reaction style collision in which all six vehicles sustained varying degrees of damage, Wickersham said. Three additional vehicles stopped for the light in the left travel lane were also damaged.
Four injured people were taken to local hospitals. They included the following, according to the sheriff’s office:
- 22-year-old Shelby Township man, listed in critical but stable condition at Henry Ford Macomb
- 48-year-old Addison Township man, listed in critical but stable condition at Henry Ford Macomb
- 56-year-old Shelby Township man, listed in stable condition at Henry Ford Macomb
- 47-year-old Rochester Hills man, treated and released from Troy Beaumont
Other reported injuries were treated at the scene. The vehicles were scattered on the roadway, median and ditch.
Wickersham said the truck driver told deputies he believes he “fell asleep” for a few seconds just prior to the crash. Investigators do not believe that drugs, alcohol or distracted driving were a factor, Wickersham said, although his cell phone will be examined for evidence.
A toxicology report from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab is pending. No charges have been filed.