• January 27, 2023

Scott Lightner Killed in Truck Accident on US-12 in Bertrand Township, MI

UPDATE (February 2, 2023): Authorities have identified the victim of this accident as 51-year-old Scott Lightner.

Bertrand Township, MI — January 26, 2023, one person was killed in a collision with a semi-truck on U.S. Highway 12 in Bertrand Township.

Authorities say the incident happened around 11:45 a.m. on US-12 near Franklin Road, close to Buchanan. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving an SUV east when they crested a hill and attempted to pass a tractor-trailer. Investigators allege the driver lost control while passing and the SUV slid off the road into a guardrail.

Once the driver regained control they started to pull back onto the road but collided head-on with a semi-truck in the westbound lane. The impact pushed the SUV off the roadway and into an embankment; the westbound truck then overturned on top of it. 

The SUV driver was fatally injured in the crash. No other injuries were reported.

The crash remains under investigation but "wet and slushy" road conditions may have been a factor.

No further information is currently available.

As investigations continue it's important to take preliminary reports with a grain or two of salt. Without all the available facts and evidence a lot of early information is based on brief police observations at the scene strung together by some educated guesses (or just "gut feelings"), and even if they seem straightforward there could still be more to the story. For instance, hazardous road conditions were mentioned by investigators and I have no particular reason to doubt them, but that might not have been the only influential factor. Plenty of other issues, from sightlines to vehicle malfunctions to medical emergencies, must also be carefully considered and looked into.

Is it possible things went more or less as police and the press described? Maybe. Does their rough timeline of events really encompass everything there is to know, though? Doesn't seem like it. For the sake of the folks who lost a loved one out there, it's vital to investigate carefully and be sure every part of the story is learned. I just hope Michigan authorities agree and find some real answers for the people who need and deserve them.

Scott Lightner Killed in Bertrand Township, MI Truck Accident on US-12
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