• October 25, 2022

Matthew Morgette Killed by Loose Roof Rack on M-28 in Seney Township, MI

Seney, MI — October 23, 2022, 31-year-old Matthew Morgette died when another vehicle's roof rack hit his vehicle on State Route 28 in Seney Township.

Authorities say the incident happened Sunday afternoon on M-28. Preliminary investigation suggests Morgette was driving a Chevy pickup east on the highway when he approached a westbound Honda on the other side.

According to reports as the Honda traveled west its roof rack and a kayak attached to it fell off. The rack then hit Morgette's truck, pierced its windshield, and caused him fatal injuries. Morgette's wife, also in the truck, was unhurt.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Matthew Morgette Accident in Seney Twp

Obviously there are many questions still to answer here, chief among them probably how the rack and its attached kayak broke loose. Was the kayak secured properly to the rack? Did something cause it to pull hard on the rack and forcibly detach it? Was the rack adequately secured to the roof of the Honda to start with? Was it a factory or after-market attachment?

If it seems odd to zero in so much on the rack, it's because its detachment seems to be the main factor in the terrible damage that followed. Depending on what's learned about how the rack and the kayak broke loose, there may be more to the story. If the rack was manufactured or attached poorly by its maker and it broke free during standard use, then the manufacturer may have some liability for what happened on M-28. In that case not only would it have a duty to make amends, but it must also recall other Hondas with the same rack so it can prevent further accidents.

I'm not saying I know more than reports offer about what happened in Michigan, only that further investigation seems necessary to be sure the whole story is known. I have a feeling some fingers were pointed prematurely at the Honda driver, but it may not be fair to blame them simply for trusting their car to stay together. I hope investigators--police, or if they don't have the right training or equipment to look for defects then independent professionals--can make more sense of this tragedy. At the very least, the victim's loved ones deserve some real answers.

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