Cause of fatal car crash remains under investigation

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published November 18, 2014


Police continue their investigation into a Nov. 14 fatal crash involving a minivan that drove at a high rate of speed through a portion of the city before crashing into a church wall.

A woman, the minivan’s driver and only occupant, was killed.

“There was an autopsy on Saturday, and we’re pending toxicology results probably within a couple of weeks because it takes awhile for them to process everything,” said Clawson Police Department Detective Lt. Scott Sarvello Nov. 18. “So right now, everything is on hold. We’re looking at a one-car (crash) where … the only person involved is the deceased.”

Sarvello declined to comment on possible reasons for the crash.

Sarvello said the Police Department will not release any of the woman’s personal information while the case is under investigation, other than she is not a Clawson resident.

An officer saw the minivan at about 5:15 p.m. speeding northbound out of the alley from the northwest portion of the city parking lot at 14 Mile Road and Main Street. The van crossed Broadacre Street, smashed into an unoccupied parked car and drove into the brick wall of Clawson United Methodist Church at 205 N. Main St. Sarvello said the vehicle speed is not known at this time.

“The officer heard her hit the curb, then watched as the vehicle struck the parked car and then the building,” Sarvello said.

Sarvello said the officer responded immediately and found the driver unconscious. Officers broke the driver’s side window to gain access to the minivan, put it in park and turned off the ignition. Police said the woman was unconscious at that time, but she had a pulse.

Sarvello said paramedics arrived at the crash scene within minutes and began CPR before she was transported to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, where she was pronounced dead.

No one else was injured during the incident.