Wrong-way driver causes four-vehicle crash

MILTON TOWNSHIP — Police are investigating an accident involving a semi-truck that took place Saturday morning in Milton Township.

Sheriff Richard J. Behnke reports that around 4:15 a.m. Saturday, his office was called to investigate a personal injury crash that occurred on M-60 near Reum Road in Milton Township.

Initial investigation shows that Tory Leroy Miller, 43, of South Bend, was driving the wrong way, north bound, in the southbound lane of M 60, north of Reum Road.

A box truck driven by Emily Oostema, 23, of Kalamazoo, was in the southbound lane of M 60 when she swerved to miss Miller. Oostema was struck by Miller and turned into the median where her box truck overturned. Deputites have determined that Oostema was wearing a safety belt and alcohol was not a factor.

A second semi-truck being driven by Daniel Barton, 59, of Cassopolis, was in the right lane of southbound M 60 when it was struck by Miller, after it had struck Oostema’s vehicle.

Barton’s semi-truck then went off the roadway and overturned, dumping his payload into a farm field. Barton was wearing his safety belt and alcohol was not a factor.

A third vehicle, driven by Eric Missing, 28 of Granger, was in the north-bound lane of M-60 monitoring the wrong-way driver. After the box truck struck Miller, it went into the median and into the northbound lane of M-60. This made Missing go into the median, causing damage to his vehicle. Police have determined that Missing was wearing his safety belt and alcohol was not a factor.

Miller was transported to South Bend Memorial Hospital in Indiana for injuries sustained in the accident, after two witnesses were able to extract him from his vehicle. His vehicle sustained heavy damage and had caught on fire.

Police believe that alcohol use and safety belt use are a factor in the crash at this time. The other drivers sustained no injuries.

SMCAS Ambulance, Howard Township Fire Department, Niles City Fire Department, Life Care EMS, Pokagon Tribal Police, Ontwa Township Police and the Michigan Department of Corrections assisted at the scene.

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