Key Points of This Article:
- According to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, nearly 40% of all fatal Michigan car crashes occur on Michigan highways and interstates.
- On April 21, 2021, a Michigan driver was involved in a crash with a pickup truck in Southfield before being fatally struck in a secondary accident.
- Despite a significant drop in traffic on U.S. roadways since 2020, an estimated 28,190 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, a 4.3% increase from the year prior.
- It is not the responsibility of those involved in a car accident to approach other drivers, and it’s best to wait inside your vehicle for law enforcement to arrive and lead the way.
Secondary Crash on Southfield Highway Kills Michigan Motorist
Michigan State Police have reported the death of a driver involved in a Southfield secondary car crash. Moments before the accident, the man was involved in a wreck with a pickup truck. According to authorities, after the initial crash, the man got out of his car and was fatally struck by a passing vehicle on the Northwestern Highway near Telegraph Road.
- On Wednesday, April 21, Southfield police called state troopers to the scene just before 7:30 a.m.
- An early investigation by state police shows the victim was in a passenger car when he lost control and hit a pickup truck.
- He got out of the car and went to talk to the pickup truck driver.
- The man was then struck by another car.
- Officials pronounced him dead at the scene.
- The driver of the car that struck the man stopped and did wait for the police.
- No one else was injured during the incident.
Southfield is a city in Oakland County and a northern suburb of Detroit.
Northwestern Highway has several names, including John C. Lodge Freeway (The Lodge), James Couzens Highway, and one segment has also been named the Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway. It runs through residential and commercial areas of the west side of Detroit and into Southfield.
What Is a Secondary Crash?
The Federal Highway Administration defines a “secondary crash” as a crash beginning with detecting the primary incident where the collision occurs either a) within the incident scene or b) within the queue, including the opposite direction, resulting from the original incident.
Secondary crashes do happen, and unfortunately, sometimes the result is fatal. The fault of a secondary crash will not necessarily be known until an investigation is complete, which does take time.
Our lawyers and staff serve clients all over Michigan, but our home is in Southfield, just off Telegraph Road. We understand how painful sudden fatal crashes like this are on family and friends – and the community. We are keeping all the parties involved in our thoughts and want to use this opportunity to remind Michigan drivers of the steps to take if involved in a car or truck wreck, especially on a highway or busy road.
How to Avoid a Secondary Crash
Every crash situation is different, but if you have been in an accident with another vehicle, you must know what to do next for not only your safety but the safety of other motorists who may be passing by.
- Stay put. Stay in your vehicle, turn on the emergency flashers, and dial 911 to begin assessing the situation. Make sure you can convey the location of the accident, including any freeway on and off-ramp information and how many other vehicles are involved. From there, always follow the operator’s cues.
- Wait for first responders to arrive. Recognize that it is not your responsibility to approach the other drivers. Allow law enforcement to follow protocol so you and others are not injured. The police will allow you time to exchange information, collect evidence, and provide your side of the story in a police report.
- Stay cautious. If you absolutely feel the need to get out of your vehicle to help others or your vehicle is on fire or pushed into an unsafe section of the road, remember always to exit with extreme caution. Traffic conditions and congestion can build up quickly after a crash, and some passing motorists may not be able to see you or stop in time to avoid crashing into you.
- Never step into highway traffic. Even on the most rural road in Michigan, do not ever step into traffic or wait in a lane outside of a vehicle.
For the rest of us, if you ever see an accident occur or vehicles parked on the side of the road, slow down and move over to the lane farthest from where occupants might be. Don’t ever attempt to navigate your way through a crash scene. Never drive distracted or tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Follow the speed limit, follow the flow of traffic, and always buckle up!
In the Case of Wrongful Death
Determining the fault for the cause behind these tragic accidents can be more than tricky, even for the best crash investigator. Secondary crash accidents can involve many different drivers who may have been operating carelessly, such as following too closely, driving distracted, speeding and driving recklessly, or under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Not specific to this situation, but risky driving behaviors leave thousands of innocent victims and their families in its wake every year. The Michigan Wrongful Death Act allows the personal representative of the estate of a deceased person to bring an action in court if the death of the person was caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. Non-economic losses relate to grief and emotional loss.
Non-economic losses include:
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of emotional and moral support
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of relationship
- Pain and suffering of deceased before death
Psychological damages beyond what is typically experienced by family members can also occur in the unexpected death of a loved one. There are no set rules for determining pain and suffering settlements. The jury decides the award for each claim if it goes to trial. Otherwise, this will be determined in the settlement.
Have You or a Loved One Been Involved in a Fatal Michigan Car Accident?
If a loved one has been injured or killed in a car or truck crash of any kind, the Michigan car accident attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, are sorry for your situation, and we want you to know that we have a long history of representing clients at their most stressful and exhausting times. With support around the state, our attorneys can be right there when you need us.
Please call to speak to an experienced Michigan accident attorney at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) as soon as you are ready. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your case.