COVERT, MI ' One person was killed and a second was in critical condition after a fiery crash Monday on Interstate 196 in Covert Township.
Patrolman Alan Marler said the accident occurred about 2:15 p.m. when a southbound semi tractor-trailer crashed into a Dodge pickup truck parked on the shoulder near mile marker 10.
The tractor-trailer driver from Sedalia, MO, could face up to two years in prison. He is being held in the Van Buren County Jail in Paw Paw pending arraignment. Gary Armstrong of Muskegon died when the semi slammed into the parked pickup. His brother was outside looking under the hood, but was able to jump out of the way and was not injured. Another relative was rescued from the burning pickup by the semi driver. The pickup was dragged 480 feet by the semi. Witnesses said the semi was "all over the road" just before slamming into the parked pickup. Alcohol was not a factor, but sleepiness could have been a factor.
My wife and I saw this accident scene yesterday. The guard rail is damaged along the right shoulder. About 480 feet beyond that point, the guard rail is damaged again and there is a black area on the shoulder from the fire. A photo taken during recovery and rescue shows a hearse at the accident scene along with the usual wreckers and fire engine. The cab of the semi was burned to the ground.