Authorities have released the identities of the victims on a fatal I-96 crash Sunday.

Deputies with the Livingston County Sheriff’s were dispatched at about 1:30am Sunday to I-96 and Pleasant Valley Road on the report of a two-vehicle crash at the partial interchange, located in Brighton Township. The preliminary investigation indicates that 43-year-old Chet Lamar Gardner of Farmington Hills was driving a 2018 Ford F-150 pickup truck eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-96 when he struck a 2010 Dodge Journey SUV operated by 30-year-old Patricia Mellisa Pond of Haslett head-on.

Both drivers, who were alone in their vehicles, were pronounced dead at the scene by Livingston County EMS. Gardner was not wearing a seatbelt while Pond’s seat belt was buckled. Deputies were assisted at the scene by the Brighton Area Fire Department, Livingston County EMS, Green Oak Township Police and Hamburg Township Police. The westbound lanes of I-96 were closed at the interchange for several hours and traffic was diverted from the freeway onto Pleasant Valley Road.

Whether speed, alcohol, or drugs were factors in the crash has not been determined, and the accident remains under investigation by the Livingston County Major Crash Team. (TT/JK)