Two men hit, killed by vehicles on I-696

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 11, 2020

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OAKLAND COUNTY — Two people were killed in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Feb. 11, after a crash on Interstate 696.

According to Michigan State Police, two vehicles were involved in a minor collision at 5:30 a.m. on eastbound I-696 between Woodward Avenue and Coolidge Highway.

The drivers, both men, exited their vehicles on the highway. It’s unknown why, but police theorize they could have been talking or trying to direct traffic.

The two men were struck by two separate cars, Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said, and they died at the scene. One of the men was a 61-year-old from Westland, while the other was a 39-year-old from Oak Park.

One of the drivers of the vehicles that struck the two men also was injured and was admitted to a local hospital, Shaw said. The other driver reportedly was treated and released.

Michigan State Police stated on Twitter that the information in the crash is “very fluid” and subject to change as the investigation continues.

Shaw said the Michigan State Police will gather information, such as medical results, and conduct vehicle inspections as it looks to finish its investigation. That could take anywhere from four to six weeks, depending on how fast the autopsy results come back.

“(We’ll need to) determine where the pedestrians were when they were on the freeway. If they ended up not being on traffic lanes and on the shoulder, that could be a difference as far as if there’s somebody going to be charged criminally or not,” Shaw said.

Shaw continued to say that investigators will present their findings to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office if they believe that criminal charges would be warranted. 

“If they don’t see anything criminal there, then they’ll just close the case out,” he said.

All lanes of eastbound I-696 were shut down for more than five hours so authorities could conduct their investigation. The highway reopened at around 11 a.m.