By Jon King /

A Howell man was critically injured early Thursday morning when he lost control of his pickup truck and overturned and caught fire on I-96 in Howell Township.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office reports that deputies were dispatched at about 2:35 a.m. to a single-vehicle injury crash on westbound I-96 at Highland Road (M-59).

A preliminary investigation indicates a 42-year-old resident of Howell was driving westbound on I-96 when his Dodge Ram pickup truck left the roadway, struck the guard rail, and overturned. The sheriff’s office says that as the pickup overturned it caught fire and came to rest in the westbound lanes of the freeway.

The driver was able to exit the vehicle and a Good Samaritan aided the driver until Fire and EMS personnel arrived on the scene. The driver was transported to the U of M Hospital in Ann Arbor by Livingston County EMS in critical condition. The Howell man was the only occupant in the vehicle and it is unknown if he was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.

The roadway was closed for approximately three and a half hours during the investigation and cleanup. Alcohol and speed appear to be factors in this crash, which remains under investigation by the Livingston County Major Crash Team.

Deputies were assisted on the scene by Howell Area Fire Department, Michigan State Police, and Livingston County EMS.