A drone pilot could face charges after authorities say the unmanned aircraft kept a Flight Care helicopter from landing to transport a victim to the hospital in a deadly crash.
It happened about 4:50 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17 on M-81 near Prospect Avenue in Tuscola County’s Indianfields Township.
Investigators said 49-year-old Michael Todd Millerov of Grand Blanc was heading west on M-81 when he lost control due to speed, poor tire condition and wet roads in the area from heavy rain.
The vehicle crashed with a westbound pickup truck.
Millerov was cut from his vehicle with the Jaws of Life and airlifted to an area hospital. He died from his injuries a short time later. Police said it appeared he was not wearing his seat belt.
A 19-year-old Akron man in the vehicle also suffered minor injuries. He was treated and released from a local hospital.
The driver of the pickup, a 26-year-old Clarkston man, was not hurt. A two-year-old who was in a car seat in the backseat was not hurt, but taken to the hospital for evaluation.
Investigators said during the investigation, a drone was found flying over the crash scene as Flight Care was trying to make their approach.
The helicopter had to abort its landing and pass around the scene while police found the pilot of the drone.
Michigan State Police remind drone pilots to avoid flying in areas of traffic crashes, as many times helicopters are used to transport victims from crash scenes.
A report has been forwarded to the Tuscola County Prosecutor’s Office and Federal Aviation Administration to decide if charges will be filed against the drone pilot, MSP said.
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