Troopers from the Michigan State Police Wayland Post are investigating a four-vehicle traffic crash that occurred Saturday, September 11 around 2:30 p.m. on southbound US 131 near mile marker 55 in Martin Township.
Preliminary investigations, including witness statements, reveal that the driver of a Chevy Tahoe was observed traveling at a high rate of speed south on US 131 and rear-ended a Mercury passenger car that was stopped on the roadway due to congestion caused by construction.
The driver of the Mercury passenger car, Diana Thornton, a 65-year-old woman from Bremen, Indiana, suffered life-threatening injuries. She was transported to Borgess Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The driver of the Tahoe was identified as a 35-year-old man from Kalamazoo. His injuries were not life threatening.
Two additional vehicles stopped on the roadway were also involved in this crash due to the chain reaction from the initial impact of the Tahoe. Those vehicles were described as a 2009 Ford Flex, driven by a 27-year-old Kalamazoo man and a 2014 Chevy Impala driven by a 56-year-old woman also from Kalamazoo. Neither those drivers nor their occupants suffered life-threatening injuries.
Alcohol does not appear to be factor. It was reported that occupants from all involved vehicles were wearing seatbelts. This crash remains under investigation pending lab analysis and prosecutor’s review.
Troopers were assisted at the scene by Allegan County Sheriff Department, Martin Fire Department, Wayland EMS, Plainwell EMS, and Life EMS.