Police Identify Suspected Wrong-way Driver in Deadly I-96 Crash

Posted at 3:21 AM, Jul 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-11 03:21:15-04

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (July 11, 2014) — Police have identified the woman accused of driving the wrong way on I-96 that resulted in a fiery head-on collision that killed another driver.

The crash happened Thursday evening around 7:30 in the eastbound lanes of I-96 near mile marker 22, outside of Marne.  The highway’s eastbound lanes were closed until just before midnight.

Police say Heather Ann Luke, 32, of Nunica, was driving in the westbound lanes in a Chevy Trailblazer.  She suddenly pulled into one of the emergency turnarounds and entered the eastbound lanes but continued driving west.

Drivers swerved to avoid the SUV that was coming straight at them, but the driver of a Chrysler minivan was unable to avoid a collision.  The wrong-way driver crashed head-on into the van, which caught fire.  That driver, who is not being identified at this time, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Luke was trapped inside her vehicle for roughly an hour.  Once emergency crews got her out, an Aero Med helicopter flew her to the hospital, where she was last listed in critical condition.

Investigators in Ottawa County are trying to figure out why Luke suddenly used the emergency turnaround, then headed in the wrong direction.