SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND DELAYS

Second crash in two days at M-37 intersection near Middleville

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Photo from Phillip Butler

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. — Emergency crews responded to a two-vehicle crash Tuesday at M-37 and Crane Road, according to the Barry County Sheriff’s Department.

The crash happened at about 3 p.m.  when the driver of a car heading west on Crane did not yield to a southbound van driving down M-37.   The van was struck on the driver’s side and rolled at least two times, according to the sheriff’s department.

There were minor injuries in the crash and no one was hospitalized.

This is the second crash at the intersection this week.

The driver of a pick-up truck was taken to the hospital in critical condition Monday after they turned left onto M-37 and were struck by a northbound semi-truck.

“This has been a real problem here for quite a while,” said Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf on Monday.  Finkbeiner/Crane Road and M-37 is an intersection that drivers should pass through with real caution, Leaf said.

The Michigan Department of Transportation told FOX 17 News that the intersection is a tricky one because the roads don’t intersect at 90 degree angles.That makes the intersection not only awkward, but dangerous at times.

“Certainly there is a local desire to have a signal there, and there’s a desire on MDOT’s part to put a signal in there,” said Nick Schirripa of MDOT, “but we can’t just say we want one and put it in. That’s not how it works.”

Schirripa warns that a traffic signal in theory sounds like a good idea, but it might not make the cut.

“We don’t get rid of crashes, we trade one kind of a crash for another,” said Schirripa. “So it changes the dynamic at an intersection, but not always in a good way. We have to make sure that the kinds of traffic we are impacting, and the movements we are impacting, are going to be impacted in the right way.”

 

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1 Comment

  • Charlie Tenbrink

    Yeah, so what? There have been 4 fatalities in 4 weeks in the same small stretch of M-37 north of Comstock Park. The same stretch has seen fatal accidents for years, too.
    But nobody is raising a stink about changing the road because the road has not been at fault in any of these tragic events, just like it hasn’t been at fault in Middleville.
    The cause is not the road, it is the drivers on the road who are driving too fast for conditions.
    You are supposed to slow down as you approach intersections, not speed up. You are supposed to slow down when going over hills and around corners, and when the weather is wet or snowy. You are supposed to drive more slowly when it is dark. And you are supposed to pay attention to the traffic around you, not your phone or your GPS, or your passengers.