Early morning crash closes part of U.S. 12

Published 2:06 pm Thursday, May 13, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Michigan State Police Niles Post is investigating a car versus semi-tractor trailer traffic accident that occurred on US 12 near Bakertown Road in Bertrand Township this morning at about 5:50 a.m.
A State Police press release indicates a 19-year-old man from Illinois was driving westbound on US 12, when his vehicle crossed the centerline and struck an eastbound semi-truck driven by a 35-year-old man from Michigan.
Both men appeared to be wearing their seatbelts and entrapment occurred in both vehicles.
The driver of the passenger car was transported to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind. The extent of his injuries were not available at press time.
US 12 between Bakertown and Sage Roads was shut down immediately with traffic being rerouted.
Michigan State Police was assisted at the scene by the Buchanan Police Department, Bertrand Township Fire Department, SMCAS and Michigan Department of Transportation.
In other local law enforcement activity:
According to a police report, a store employee was cleaning the store when a masked suspect allegedly entered the store pointing a handgun at him and yelling "Where is the money?"
The employee was watching his younger cousin, who was in the back room watching television. The suspect saw the younger cousin and demanded that he get on the floor.
The employee opened the cash register and then the suspect kicked him in the back of the leg causing him to fall to the ground.
After taking the cash register money and a bag full of change, the suspect ran out of the store.
The gas station employee, who did not see which way the suspect ran, immediately called the police.
The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches with a medium build.
Police investigated the scene for fingerprints and evidence. They were able to follow a trail of change to the east, but were unable to locate a suspect.
After giving driver, Richard Harold Schmidt, 59, of 105 Moccasin St. in Buchanan, a standard field test, it was determined that his driving was impaired. Schmidt was not given a preliminary breath test because of unknown injuries to his mouth.
He was placed under arrest and taken to Niles Lakeland Emergency Room, where he was treated for his injuries and given a blood test, which allegedly indicated there was alcohol in his system.
Schmidt was then transported to the Niles Police Department, where he was booked and lodged for an OUIL.