A truck driver was killed in a Thursday morning crash that forced the closure of westbound I- 96 for roughly ten hours.

It happened around 5:50am on westbound I-96 at Kent Lake Road. Michigan State Police Lieutenant Mike Shaw tells WHMI preliminary investigation revealed that a semi-truck started having engine and electrical problems, so the driver pulled over to the right as soon as they could before the semi quit running. Shaw says a box truck then approached the semi from behind, also in the right lane. He says unfortunately the semi did not get over all the way onto the shoulder and the driver of the box truck ended up hitting the back of the semi-truck, killing the driver instantly. Shaw identified the victim as a 36-year-old male from St. Clair and says his family has been notified. The driver of the semi was not injured.

The westbound lanes of I-96 at Milford Road were shut down around 6am and re-opened after 4pm in time for the afternoon rush. He says motorists were advised to avoid the entire I-96 corridor, which was jam packed especially during the morning rush due to the usual gawker delays. Eastbound I-96 and US-23 were also affected by the closure.

Shaw noted that it took longer than usual to complete the investigation because they had to get the trucks up-righted and recover the driver from one of the vehicles. He says there was also an oil spill and some other things that caused them to keep I-96 closed. Shaw said they appreciated everyone’s patience during the closure as it was a long stretch for a very well-traveled freeway system.

Picture courtesy of WDIV-clickondetroit.com (JK/JM)