Vehicle’s communication system aids Buchanan man trapped after head-on crash

Published 12:58 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Icy roads apparently caused a two-vehicle head-on collision on the overpass of US-31 Bypass on Niles-Buchanan Road Tuesday morning.
A Michigan State Police Niles Post 53 press release said the crash, which happened at 7:18 a.m. involved a 2003 Chevy Blazer that lost control on the ice covered overpass causing it to cross the centerline and hit an "OnStar"-equipped 2002 Chevy Trail Blazer head on.
The Niles City 9-1-1 Dispatch Center was immediately notified by OnStar of the location and type of collision, the press release said.
OnStar is a satellite communication service with which some new vehicles are equipped.
The press release said Niles City Police dispatched emergency units while OnStar patched the driver involved through to the radio operator.
After all emergency response vehicles were on their way, the press release said, OnStar patched the injured driver through to his family at home.
John Erickson, 65, Buchanan, the driver of the OnStar-equipped vehicle, was pinned and unable to get out of his car, the press release said.
The press release said Niles Township Fire responded for extrication of Erickson.
Erickson was transported to Lakeland Emergency Room via SMCAS, the press release said.
At the time of this press release, Erickson was currently listed in stable condition with a broken knee cap.
The second vehicle's driver, Richard Davis, 26, South Bend, Ind., was not injured and refused treatment at the scene, the press release said.
The press release said Davis' minor passenger was also uninjured.
Davis was issued a citation for violation of Michigan's Basic Speed Law, Too Fast for Conditions, the press release said.