Five people were killed and four others seriously injured Sunday when a car crossed the median of a busy southeastern Michigan expressway and struck an SUV, authorities say.
The crash happened about 3:30 p.m. on U.S. 23 in Livingston County's Green Oak Township, just south of Brighton. Authorities closed the highway for about four hours.
Three people were dead at the scene and two others died at a hospital, the township police department said in a news release.
Police said the accident happened when a northbound Toyota Prius with four teenagers in it crossed the median and hit a southbound Chevrolet Blazer carrying five people.
Police said those killed were the driver of the Prius; a 19-year-old Okemos woman and an 18-year-old Williamston woman who were passengers in that car; a 62-year-old Fremont, Ohio, woman who was driving the Blazer; and a 56-year-old man who was a passenger in the SUV.
Three children in the sport utility vehicle -- ages 10, 5 and 3 -- were among those seriously injured, police said. An 18-year-old Okemos man who was in the Prius also was seriously injured, police said.
Police did not release the names of those involved in the accident.
Deputy fire Chief Kevin Gentry told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus that heavy equipment had to be used to remove six of the people. Police said a portable fire extinguisher was used to put out a small fire in the SUV, which was smoking when authorities arrived.
The crash happened near several homes.
"I heard brakes squealing and I knew something was going to happen because it was so loud, and then `Bang!"' neighbor Betty Max told a Detroit TV station. "And then you saw the car just rolling through the air. It was just awful."
State police said the expressway reopened about 7:30 p.m.