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Double I-75 crash leads to 1 death

Public safety personnel inspect the damage to a car in which a Saginaw man died after a Jan. 28 crash on I-75 near Sashabaw Road. While the crash occurred around 1:50 p.m., northbound traffic was still snarled until after 4 p.m. because of the double crash investigation. Photo by Noah Purcell
February 02, 2005 - A Saginaw man lost his life on Jan. 28 when he failed to react in time to an I-75 traffic backup caused by an earlier crash just up the road.

Gregg Killmer, 41, died after his vehicle struck the rear end of a semitrailer and rolled off northbound I-75 onto the Sashabaw Road entrance ramp, according to Michigan State Police Trooper Trevor Radke.

Witnesses told state police that Killmer was driving in the northbound center lane at about 1:50 p.m. when he apparently swerved to avoid a rear-end collision. He either was not aware of or underestimated the slowing speed of the tractor-semitrailer in the right lane, however, Radke said.

Although Killmer only "clipped" the rear corner of the trailer, it was with sufficient force that, "he was killed instantly," Radke said.

The weather was clear, the pavement was dry, and state police believe neither alcohol nor lack of safety belt use were involved in the crash. Air bags in the 2004 Volkswagen had deployed.

The traffic backup was caused by a rollover crash on northbound I-75 near Clintonville Road. That incident occurred at about 1:40 p.m., according to reports from Oakland County Sheriff deputies, who were first on the scene in assistance to the state police.

The driver of a Dodge Durango which was pulling a camper trailer reported that the trailer began to weave, causing both the trailer and the Durango to overturn. The rollover blocked two of the three northbound lanes, causing the bottleneck for northbound drivers, including Killmer.

The driver of the Durango was not injured, reports said.

Don Schelske has almost 20 years experience in community newspapers. He holds a Bachelor of Religious Education degree from William Tyndale College and a Master of Arts in communications from Wheaton College.
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