DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) News 10 has learned at least two of the people killed in the fatal crash on I-496 in Delta Township Tuesday night, were special needs adults. News 10's Alani Letang talked with some relatives today.
The accident happened on Westbound I-496 between Waverly and Snow Roads in Delta Township at 8:55 PM.
Three cars were involved, resulting in nine people being taken to local hospitals. One is in critical condition. Those that suffered fatal injuries are 59-year-old Kelly McNamara from Lansing, 66-year-old Linda Foote from Lansing, and Kevin Trusty, a 57-year-old from Lansing. A family member of the deceased that told News 10's Alani Letang that it was late for them to be out.
Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. A third person died from their injuries a short time later at the hospital. Seat belts were not utilized by all passengers. One family member Letang they're bothered by the fact that the victims might not have been wearing seatbelts. And that the driver of the van would make a dangerous turn with their loved ones.
The crash happened after a minivan with seven people inside attempted to assist a disabled vehicle that was on the side of the expressway with a jump for their car battery. Police said the van pulled back into the lanes of traffic, to try and face the disabled vehicle and was T-boned by an oncoming vehicle. That driver was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.
Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich said, "the driver of the disabled vehicle was a friend to the driver that which caused the accident from what our preliminary investigation has determined."
Sheriff Reich said the accident is exactly why you should never turn around on the highway even if you have the best intentions."
"It is illegal to do any type of illegal turns on a highway such as this," said the Sheriff.
As far as who will be held responsible, Sheriff Reich said that's out of his hands.
"Any accident where a cause of serious injury or where there is a fatality involved in an automobile crash all the information is gathered from the investigation and submitted to the prosecutor's office."
The accident closed WB I-496 to be closed for several hours Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. A family member believes the van was traveling either to or from a therapy-type home in Charlotte. At least two of the deceased lived in a group home for special needs adults in Lansing.
The cause of the accident is under investigation but investigators say it is unknown if alcohol was a factor in the crash. They do say it was not weather related.
This story has been updated to say four others were taken to the hospital. The original version of this story and information included in the video above says five others were taken to the hospital.
This is a breaking news story. News 10 is working to get more details and will update the story as more information becomes available.
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