GREEN OAK TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Five people were killed Sunday afternoon in a crash that closed U.S. 23 between Lee Road and Silver Lake Road for several hours.
Green Oak Township Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Gentry said a Toyota Prius carrying four people crossed the median at about 3:30 p.m. and smashed head-on into a Chevy Blazer that was carrying five people.
Gentry said five people were killed and four were taken to the University of Michigan Hospital, with injuries that range from serious to life-threatening. He said three people were thrown from the vehicles and the rest were pinned inside and had to be rescued.
The victims inside the Prius included a 19-year-old female from Okemos, an 18-year-old female from Williamston. Local 4 does have any information on the driver who was killed. An 18-year-old male from Okemos, who was also in the Prius, is listed in critical condition.
In the Chevy Blazer, a 62-year-old woman and 56-year-old man, both from Fremont, Ohio were killed. Three children, ages 3, 5 and 10 were also inside the Blazer. All are listed in serious condition.
The Prius is licensed out of Michigan; the Blazer is licensed out of Ohio. Green Oak Township Police Chief Robert Brookins said an investigation into what caused the Prius to cross lanes is under way.
"We just have some significant impact to both vehicles. It's too early to determine exactly what transpired," he said. "At one point there was a potential fire, the vehicle was extinguished on site."
Betty Max lives near the roadway. She said she heard the crash just seconds before she saw it. "I heard brakes squealing ... then, you just hear 'bam' and see this car just rolling through the air," she said. "It was just awful."
The roadway reopened just before 8 p.m.
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