Victim identified in fatal M-37 crash as beloved young father

TYRONE TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Police have identified the man killed in a traffic crash Monday afternoon as Matthew Hoaglin, 33, of Stanton.

Michigan State Police say Hoaglin was driving south on M-37 around 3 p.m. when a driver of a tractor trailer heading northeast on Fruitridge Avenue pulled out in front of Hoaglin's truck and failed to yield.  Hoaglin was driving his 1998 Dodge Ram pickup when he struck the side of the semi and was lodged underneath it.

Hoaglin was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The driver of the semi truck was reportedly uninjured.

Loved ones tell FOX 17 Hoaglin was an "amazing father" to his five-year-old daughter Mya, and someone who was always there for his family. Hoaglin's mother Rebecca Lockwood said, "My whole world has been shattered. I will never hear my son say, 'I love you momma.' My granddaughter will never know her daddy. My baby boy is gone."

Hoaglin's sister-in-law, Nicole Chapman, also told FOX 17: "Matt was one of the most amazing men I ever had the pleasure to meet. He was an amazing dad and has always been there for his family; he was the happiest person."

As the MSP continue to investigate, MSP Lt. Chris McIntire at the Rockford Post says fatal accidents and those with serious injuries have spiked in the last year in this area along M-37 and more so in another area along M-57.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Hoaglin’s family, it was a horrible accident," said Lt. McIntire.

"We’ve got a lot of work to do to figure out what was going on inside of the semi-truck driver’s tractor, and what he was doing. We’re waiting for some toxicology to come back, in reference to the driver of the trailer."

According to McIntire, in the last 12 months, there have been two fatal and 14 serious injury accidents on M-37 between 8 Mile north to the county line, compared to one fatal and three serious injury accidents the year prior. Then on M-57 from Northland Drive east to the county line, there have been five fatal and four serious injury accidents in the last year, compared to one fatal and 11 serious injury accidents the year prior.

Troopers haven't found any pattern as to why accidents are increasing on these stretches of road other than speeding and distracted driving. McIntire says the MSP will be increasing road patrols in those areas and ticketing any bad driving.

"We know they’re going way too fast on M-57 and M-37, and drivers are just distracted nowadays with all the things they have at their hands, between cell phones and all the stuff going on inside these cars," said Lt. McIntire.

"People are driving distracted, they’re driving way too fast, and to be frank, they’re just driving like idiots, and it’s causing people to get hurt."

Police do not believe alcohol or drugs are factors involved in this crash.  State Police continue to investigate.

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