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Both drivers killed when car hits tanker on M-6

DOUBLE FATAL 05232021
FATAL SMOKE 05232021
Posted at 11:42 AM, May 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-23 21:14:19-04

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — 1:30 p.m. update: Westbound lanes of M-6 between Kenowa and 8th avenues will remain closed until 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25, for bridge inspection.

A MDOT spokesperson said that the area of highway will be closed until at least Tuesday, as the barrier wall will need to be replaced.

The drivers of a semi tanker and a car that struck it both died in a fiery crash on westbound M-6 Sunday morning.

At 5:25 a.m. Sunday, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a car-semi tanker truck crash, with the semi rolled over, in the westbound lanes of M-6 near Eighth Avenue in Jamestown Township.

Upon arriving at the scene, deputies found both the tanker and the car fully engulfed in flames. First responders were unable to get to either driver.

Once the fire was extinguished, deputies located one occupant in each of the vehicles. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names are being withheld pending notification of relatives.

The investigation showed that the semi drifted off the south side of the roadway before correcting and then overturning. The tanker trailer was then struck by a westbound vehicle.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

The roadway is closed while the Michigan Department of Transportation assesses it for safety and also conducts a safety inspection on the bridge that crosses over Rush Creek to ensure that it is safe to handle motor vehicle traffic.

The Ottawa County hazardous materials team responded to assist in a spill cleanup for the petroleum product that the tanker was carrying. The spill was contained and there are no safety concerns for anyone living in the area.

Anybody who witnessed the accident is being asked to contact the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office at (616) 738-4000, Ottawa County Central Dispatch at 1-800-249-0911 or Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT.