Investigation continues into car accident that killed Birmingham senior

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 13, 2017

Police are working to sift through the details of an investigation following a car accident Friday afternoon that killed a Birmingham senior.

Sgt. Kim Comerford, of the Traffic Investigations Unit of the Bloomfield Township Police Department, said the dispatch center received a call at around 4 p.m. Nov. 10 reporting a two-vehicle accident on the northbound side of Telegraph Road. 

She said that initial reports indicated that a 2016 Jeep Wrangler traveling northbound on Telegraph had run a red light, colliding with a 2004 Ford Thunderbird that traveling westbound on Lone Pine Road, through a green light.

All occupants of both vehicles were transported to the hospital, where 84-year-old Irving Tobocman, who was driving the Thunderbird, was pronounced deceased. The 16-year-old Bloomfield Hills girl driving the Jeep was in stable condition, along with her female passenger, at press time. 

Comerford said alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, but it’s too early to determine if other substances or distracted driving were at play and whether the teen driver may face charges.

“We haven’t really delved into the crash itself yet, unfortunately. We’ve just released the name of the victim, and we expect to hear more in the next few days from the (Southwest Oakland County Crash Investigations Team),” she added.

Dr. Rob Glass, superintendent of Bloomfield Hills Schools, released a statement Monday morning regarding two of the district’s students.

“As you may have heard, two of our high school students were involved in a car accident over the weekend, resulting in the death of a local resident. Our hearts are with the resident’s loved ones and with our students and their loved ones,” Glass said in the statement. “To ensure we comply with privacy laws, I cannot go into more detail than that, but I am confident you will hear information through the police statement, media and grapevine. Please be cautious in believing what you hear via informal communications, as we all know the old game of ‘telephone’ and how contorted information can quickly become.”

He added that high school staff are prepared to counsel students in need during the coming week as word of the accident spreads.

“Please encourage your children to speak with a trusted adult if they feel the need, and please encourage them not to participate in the spread of rumors,” he said in the statement.

Tobocman’s family could not be reached for comment by press time.