UPDATE: Grandfather killed, 3 grandchildren & another driver hur - WNEM TV 5

Grandfather killed, 3 grandchildren & other driver hurt in US-10 crash

Posted: Updated:
MIDLAND COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Investigators have identified a Mid-Michigan man killed in a two-vehicle crash this morning on US-10 in Midland County.

It happened at about 7:25 a.m. Monday, April 23 on EB US-10, west of Stark Road in Lincoln Township.

The Midland County Sheriff's Department reports that Jeffrey Long, 66, from Midland, was driving a white Chevy Spark eastbound on US-10. That’s when his vehicle was rear-ended by an eastbound red Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Bethany Strong, 25, from Sanford.

Mr. Long was pronounced dead at the scene. His three grandchildren, ages 13, 11, and 9 were passengers in his vehicle.

They were hurt and taken to MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland. The 11-year-old was then airlifted to U of M Hospital with serious injuries.

Mrs. Strong was also hospitalized with minor injuries.

Both drivers and passengers appeared to be wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.

"That was really scary," said Amber, an eye witness who only wants to be identified as Amber.

Amber said she was driving behind the pair when the accident occurred.

"As the red Jeep was passing me, the white car got over for some reason," Amber said. "And I don't think the Jeep had any time to react. So the red Jeep rear ended the white vehicle and they went off to the left across the median through the oncoming traffic on westbound and they landed over there somewhere."

For her part, Amber says she wonders what made Long switch lanes with seemingly little to no warning. 

"I don't understand why they moved over," Amber said. "I didn't see any turn signal to indicate that they were going to move over. I guess obviously just didn't see the red Jeep coming."

As you can imagine, Amber said these tragic events that played out today will stay with her for a very long time.

"I don't think I'll ever forget it and I feel so bad for the families," Amber said. "You know knowing that I saw what ended up in somebody's fatality is really upsetting."

Midland County Deputies said that while there is no evidence to indicate that alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in the crash, they are waiting for toxicology reports for a final determination.

The report will then be forwarded to the Midland County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Any witnesses to the crash are being asked to contact the Midland County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at (989) 839-4619.

Police had westbound and eastbound lanes of US-10 closed at Stark Road (Exit 119) and Meridian Road (Exit 116) while they investigated. The area reopened at 11 a.m. 

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