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Posted on Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

1 dead after rollover crash sends vehicle on top of cars in restaurant parking lot

By Kyle Feldscher

One person is dead after a vehicle rolled on top of other vehicles from the intersection of Carpenter Road and Washtenaw Avenue onto the Palm Palace restaurant’s parking lot in Pittsfield Township, according to fire officials.


Police cordoned off the parking lot of the Palm Palace Restaurant while they investigated the rollover.

Colleen Ramsdell | For

Pittsfield Township Fire Chief Sean Gleason said firefighters were still on the scene of the fatal wreck just after 9 p.m. Friday. Gleason said one vehicle rolled over and ended up on vehicles parked in the restaurant’s lot, located at the southwest corner of the intersection.

It’s unknown at this point what caused the crash - reported at about 7:45 p.m. - and the incident is under investigation. Gleason said the driver of the rolled vehicle was the only person injured in the crash.

Drivers were encouraged to avoid the area for several hours as police investigate the scene. However, all roads were open as of 9:15 p.m.

Gleason said the victim's family had not been notified as of 9:30 p.m.

The intersection of Carpenter and Washtenaw is widely recognized as one of the most dangerous intersections in Washtenaw County.

The crash is the latest in a string of fatal crashes across Washtenaw County and it's the second in a week in Pittsfield Township.

Anyone with information on this crash is encouraged to call the Pittsfield Township Police Department at 734-822-4911.

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Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Aug 5, 2013 : 4:24 a.m.

it is a very bad intersection


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

This is one messed up intersection. Needs to be rebuilt to maintain a large flow of traffic that was not meant to handle. Good luck with this one. I see a round about with this one too. People here do not slow down. I had to reread this article. This car must have really rolled to get a few cars. Sad.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

Cellphone? Once cause has been determined in this and the numerous other Washtenaw County accidents if any were the result of using cell phones perhaps A2com might add a little counter in a cellphone image at the top of the Home Page as a silent reminder. People vehimently condemn motorcyclist for not wearing helmets as costing everyone big bucks in insurance premiums but when it comes to cell phones not a peep to be heard. How come?


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 3:30 a.m.

Not a peep to be heard? Surely you are kidding.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 5:31 p.m.

They should build a bridge for Washtenaw traffic that crosses above carpenter rd, thereby avoiding other traffic. It could be an "express lane". Traffic that needs to turn or go to a local business could remain in the lower lanes. That would eliminate a lot of the traffic through the intersection.


Mon, Aug 5, 2013 : 4:25 a.m.

and who do u suppose would pay for this?


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 3:30 a.m.

@lefty - MIght not work because a lot of the traffic turns either right or left (traffic for St. Joe's and Washtenaw Community College turn left) from eastbound Washtenaw. Many of the existing problems would remain. Plus, with bridges costing millions, you know they just won't do it, whether it was a good idea or not.

Christy King

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

Nah, because most of the traffic congestion is NOT from people wanting to head toward Ypsi, the bottleneck are those hitting US23N/S and turning right onto Carpenter Rd. hardly any head toward Hogback and nary a few continue through to head toward Ypsi anyway.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

Baloney! People just need to use their head instead of their mobile devices!

Eduard Aelenei

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

I work as a server at Palm Palace and was putting away cups as I looked up and noticed the car on top of another car. Was one of the first ones to see it, everyone thought I was crazy! Surprisingly there wasn't a loud noise. No one heard anything until the word spread and everyone ran to the windows. We were told that the driver was swerving ever since the Starbucks by Noodles and Co. he zig zagged after he passed the 23 exit and flew towards the Palm Palace entrance ramp and was launched into the air, hit a tree and turned the other way before landing on the car. He was still conscious for a few minutes trying to get out before he passed. A tragedy indeed, I am always checking my mirror and signaling early before I enter that ramp to our lot. people drive too fast and carelessly off that freeway hoping to catch a green light.


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

If what you say is true, you saw my friend pass. I can only hope he felt no pain for those few minutes. Byron was a great guy and will forever be missed. Dangerous intersection or not, a man lost his life. I wish people would realize this and stop speculating who or what was at fault. My heart and prayers go out to his family.

J. Zarman

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

Has anyone else been going westbound on Washtenaw, headed for the northbound US-23 entrance ramp, using the rightmost lane, marked right (Hogback) or straight (23 North), and had a southbound driver turn right on red to proceed west on Washtenaw? Twice, this has happened to me, both times going through a green light while traveling well under the speed limit. Both times, the vehicle turning right from Hogback pulled out shortly before I entered the intersection. I had to hit the brakes so hard that I would have been rear-ended had there veen a vehicle close behind me.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

I have seen people making a left turn out of the right turn only exit ramp from northbound 23 onto eastbound Washtenaw. Really, take the extra few minutes to follow the law and keep the intersection safe and turn right, then find a way to safely and legally turn around.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

The intersection is confusing. Cars turning right could easily mistake the turn into the Palm Palace parking lot as the right turn lane. I have almost had an accident there myself when a car coming down the freeway exit at normal speed nearly hit me as I turned into the Palm Palace parking lot.


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 3:20 a.m.

I don't understand the down votes. I understand what happened and how easily it could happen.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

Washtenaw between Carpenter and Platt is always a mess. Multiple freeway on/offs, multiple retail in/outs, traffic lights that randomly change. Add in cars flying in from both ends at 45 MPH+ and it's no wonder it's a mess. Come to think of it...that describes several areas of Ann Arbor, especially the traffic light lotto. With all the engineers the U of M graduates, you would think the city council could get a civil engineer to sort out the lights and get some reasonable traffic flow through this town.

James Hamilton

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

As has been noted in other comments, this intersection has been a problem for MANY years! This is the only intersection in the Ann Arbor area that frightens me. It is dangerous. I do not know how to fix it, but we, the tax payers, pay people to fix these things. Please get to work and fix this. I know it will be expensive, but this intersection IS dangerous.


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 3:19 a.m.

@James Hamilton - I agree with you. It is the only one that scares me also. @jcj - All 23 exits exit onto Washtenaw. Apparently you don't drive in this area?


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

With the volume of traffic the only thing that would help is a series of speed bumps. The facts will show this "dangerous" intersection was not even entered by the vehicle that crashed! It had to be coming off 23!


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

I am going to speculate on some of what I think happened. Everyone is blaming the intersection when I do not think the vehicle was ever even on Washtenaw. It would appear the vehicle was going North on 23 exited at Washtenaw and left the right side of the rd crossed the grass went up a small embankment rolled and went airborne onto vehicles in the back of the Palms parking lot. If I am wrong please clear it up. But because Washtenaw /Carpenter IS a dangerous intersection according to crash statistics everyone jumped to conclusions before even looking at the area. Most intersections as has been stated are not dangerous. And I know there are exceptions. But accidents are usually caused by the vehicle or a driver.


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 3:17 a.m.

@jcj - If you exit NB 23, you are indeed on Washtenaw, so your statement "I do not think the vehicle was even even on Washtenaw" makes no sense.

Ann English

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

"Accidents.....caused by the vehicle....." I wonder if it could have been brake failure. The driver, not wishing to fly into the path of street traffic, deciding to steer away from it, since the brakes didn't work.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

Just a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, I saw a pickup wrapped around a pole up on the gas station retaining wall at that intersection. I couldn't find anything on about the accident. The bricks are still out of place at the gas station from the accident.

Ann English

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

Whichever gas station you're referring to, both of them occasionally appear on Gas Buddy for inexpensive gasoline. You probably mean the one on Hogback's side; I can imagine a pickup truck zooming west on Washtenaw, fully expecting a through light to stay green, and then slamming on the brakes to avoid through traffic on Carpenter or Hogback. From the west, impossible; two sets of traffic lights to prevent such speeding.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Ummm, traffic lights do not cause accidents..drivers do. Pay attention..don't speed and watch the other drivers. Drive defensively!


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 3:14 a.m.

You drive there very much? It is defintely the worst intersection around.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

It seems to me that this intersection along with any other roads in that area. Packard Rd down to Michigan Ave. Have very high crash percentage, from past traffic studies. 3 fatal accidents in seven days, that should get some attention.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

The only thing that would help are a series of speed bumps. It is not the roads (usually) it is the drivers!


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

The crash is not the intersections fault. The intersection is an inanimate object and can not change or stop the events put into motion by a human operating a car. You can spend billions a make it the safest intersection in the world and a driver will still cause an accident. It has a high accident rate because it is a very busy intersection with a high number of vehicles and multiple turning options (driveways, us23 ramps) all in a small area.


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 3:13 a.m.

@HermanP - ". . . it is a very busy intersection with a high number of vehicles and multiple turning options (driveways, us23 ramps) all in a small area." And yet you believe there is nothing wrong with the intersection. That intersection is extremely difficult.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

I agree, HermanP! I avoid that intersection as much as possible. But it's the drivers who are impatient or distracted or not paying attention that cause the accidents. There is nothing about that intersection that focusing on driving can't fix.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

I avoid it as much as possible I even go out of my way just because it takes so long to just get through it.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

This just points to the fact the while we have spent considerable ammounts of money on anything that even sounds GREEN or Artsy, the roads and infrastructure have been badly neglected by our leaders. Thanks Mayor, glad you got all those warm and fuzzy feelings for art and marginal green projects, now how about taking care of the things that are killing people???


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 4:23 p.m.

Wrong. Pittsfield Township.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 11:12 a.m.

We have lived near that intersection for over forty years and have watched the situation become extremely dangerous. We raised three children always under the specter of a traffic calamity. They are grown now be we continue to be concerned. We have gone to all the meetings conducted by Pittsfield Township officials and even expressed our concerns directly and via email to the township supervisor all to no avail. They give lip service to our suggestions and recommendations to make the area safer.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

And what were your suggestions?


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 9:13 a.m.

My husband and I were there getting carry out earlier in the day and remarked to each other how bad the intersections is and how many close calls we have had over the years. It'll be interesting to read the accident report as I wonder just how someone got up enough speed to launch themselves into the parking lot. My condolences for the family.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 8:12 a.m.

Police were still on the scene after 10pm. They took over the right turn lane so we all had to move around them. Luckily we were all adults about it. I'm sorry to hear it was such a bad accident.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 6:15 a.m.

Any news related to Pittsfield Township is a disater. They have a budget for a township. Too much crazy area. They can not control it. They need a new plan.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 6:06 p.m.

Plus, that area is in the stretch of Washtenaw that is ignored by Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Twp, and Ypsi Township.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 4:58 a.m.

The only thing dangerous about that intersection is cars turning left from Carpenter Road to Washtenaw. There are two turn lanes, and people in the far left lane will sometimes just shoot into the right lane to jump on the highway as they are turning. As long as you're aware this happens, you should be alright. The intersection sucks because it takes forever. Sometimes longer than 8 minutes just to make it through.... With that out f the way, how does a car end up upside down on top of another car in the middle of a parking lot? That takes effort. I'm sure no one wanted this to be the end result, but someone was probably trying something.


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 3:10 a.m.

I have to disagree with you. Coming off NB23 and trying to get into the left turn lane can be very challenging, as can traveling eastbound on Washtenaw and trying to navigate to the NB 23 ramp through traffic coming off the NB 23 ramp as well as the traffic simply gong through on Washtenaw. Turning left from Carpenter Road onto Washtenaw in a breeze in comparison.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 8:14 a.m.

I was turning left there the other day and some idiot cut in front of me. I had to swerve into the north bound 23 on ramp to avoid being hit. I wanted to go for the south bound ramp a was up. I was in the right lane and he switched mid intersection with no warning. Jerk. People are scary drives in that area. Coming off 23 they just cut through two lanes of traffic without looking.

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:38 a.m.

round - a - bout


Sun, Aug 11, 2013 : 12:41 a.m.

NO< NO< NO!!!

Christy King

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

A roundabout at that intersection is a TERRIBLE idea. No way. Could you imagine the Lee Rd roundabout if it garnered that kind of traffic? The streets would be red with all of those that still don't even know how to use them. Heck, even at Lee Rd you better pay darn good attention or you'll get clobbered from those not yielding or stopping when they should be.

Ann English

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Roundabouts using 3 or more lanes are safest for those who use those in a certain area regularly. They know the proper lanes to get into in order to get to their regular destinations. Those of us who don't frequent areas using such wide roundabouts just have to use that lane chosen to get to our destinations (Whitmore Lake Road to the south instead of southbound US-23 from Lee, for example), or find safe spots where we can turn around.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 11:34 a.m.

Ha! With that volume of traffic (Washtenaw, Carpenter, US23)? It would reduce fatalities but the word "malstrom" seems fitting. Especially on Football days with the out-of-towners.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 4:23 a.m. many fatalities in the roundies up at Lee Road (near "The Quadrants")? Those roundies are a doozie! I think they work pretty well but they probably don't have the volume that US-23 exit 37A does!


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:37 a.m.

My father was hit on his motorcycle in that intersection when he was a teenager. Sent him helmet...and he stood up and walked away with bruises. Always wore a helmet after that one... So yeah...that intersection has been dangerous for a LOOOOOOOONG time.

Sean Thomas

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:33 a.m.

I feel like moving the 23 entrance/exit down to ellsworth might help...but that would also suck for a bunch of reasons. Just don't know how to make this intersection safer.

Ann English

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

Lefty 48197, You mean adding exit ramps from US-23 to Ellsworth? As long as the traffic engineers don't think that I-94 and Ellsworth Road are TOO CLOSE TOGETHER for this to be done to US-23. For those of us getting onto northbound US-23 from either westbound or eastbound I-94, we go under the Ellsworth Road bridge practically right after our acceleration lanes end. I can see more sense in putting in exit ramps from I-94 to Ellsworth; such ramps would be sufficiently far from the US-23 interchange for I-94 traffic to stay safe.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

They could add exit ramps at Ellsworth or even a complete interchange. That alone would reduce traffic at one of the worst intersections around. Adding longer acceleration and deceleration lanes on 23 at Washtenaw would help too.

Kyle Mattson

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:27 a.m.

In case anyone missed it back in the spring, this intersection ranked as the 4th most dangerous in the county and the most dangerous for young drivers. You can see the full top-25 list here:


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.

I looked at the report and Washtenaw Ave & Carpenter Rd & Hogback Rd was first. Washtenaw Ave & W Washtenaw/N US23 RAMP was fifth. This was the report that included all accidents, not just elderly and young drivers.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

Kyle Please explain how this accident happened at the intersection. Do you see any way this did not happen as the car was exiting 23 before EVER getting to Washtenaw even?

Kyle Mattson

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 6:02 a.m.

Hi Dwight check out that link, the rankings take traffic volumes into account.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:49 a.m.

It only ranks fourth because of the sheer volume of cars that use that intersection. It's not as inherently more dangerous than many other intersections I could think of in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area.

Basic Bob

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:04 a.m.

This is why we should not spend $32M to widen a road with no fatal accidents and a handful of fender benders. There are too many real problems to solve.


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 1:57 a.m.

@jcj Please re-read the article. " One person is dead after a vehicle rolled on top of other vehicles from the intersection of Carpenter Road and Washtenaw Avenue " Not knowing the exact issue, I would probably say that the vehicle was making a left turn off of West bound Washtenaw onto Carpenter Road south. The light probably had just changed to red and the driver accelerated around the corner. This acceleration caused the vehicle inertia to continue toward the right side causing the car to roll in that direction, into the parking lot. But, that is just a guess, maybe an updated article will clear things later. That is one of the most dangerous intersections in Washtenaw County and could be made safer for drivers and pedestrians. The work that they have done recently in that area will only endanger more pedestrian life. There should be NO left turns a that intersection period. Have right turn loops that places the drivers o the correct path.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

This was NOT the fault of the road! It was NOT even at the intersection as the story says!


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:50 a.m.

It's not explicitly stated in the story, but it is implied. Is the driver of the vehicle that rolled over the deceased person?


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 4:17 a.m.

What perplexes me is, the title reads "1 dead after rollover crash..." but the text reports "the driver of the rolled vehicle was the only person injured in the crash." Injured or dead? There is a difference, right? Regards to the family of this injured/deceased individual.

Paula Gardner

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:58 a.m.

Yes. I'll change the story now to make that clear.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

Ho I think our traffic person stinks at his or her job and needs to be fired. Lights on major arteries in and out of town are not timed for rush hours, some streets need right turn lanes and can easily be widened. Too many no turns on red. We need regular neighborhood input on these issues and public comment. Then we need proactive city officials who study and tweak things and make changes. Traffic is an environmental issue. Come on city officials get off your chairs and out into traffic, at 5 to 7 pm and in the morn. Also it seems u of m traffic gets undue deference

Matt Cooper

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 9 p.m.

PS. "Also it seems u of m traffic gets undue deference". And what, exactly, does that mean? I have worked for the University of Michigan for many years and am required to stop at red lights just like everyone else. I don't get any special or 'undue deference'. Is there a special "run through red lights" pass that I get for being an employee there? If so, I best get to the parking enforcement office on the double, eh!!

Matt Cooper

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 8:57 p.m.

"Too many no turns on red." Really? Many years ago that whole intersection was a 'turn on red' intersection and accidents at that intersection were far more frequent. Secondly, have you ever considered that it may not be the fault of the design of the intersection so much as the irresponsible driving of the people that use it? Regardless of how any intersection is designed and/or built, it is the responsibility of every driver to be aware of his/her surroundings (including road conditions, traffic, stop signs, red lights, etc.) and in control of her/his vehicle at all times. It's really not all that complicated. Stop when the red light is on, go when the green light is on and ALWAYS pay attention.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

I agree that it's high time that we DEMAND our elected officials address issues of safety and convenience to the public. We still don't know what caused this accident but we all know that this intersection sucks.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

@rutrow, nobody is suggesting that you slow to a stop, unless traffic, etc makes it the correct choice, they are suggesting that you pay attention to your surroundings and drive a speed safe for conditions. Conditions there include a large freeway exchange, multiple lanes of traffic, parking lots taking in and releasing people, gas stations and a major intersection of two heavily travelled streets. You don't get to cruise through at top speed just because you're special, you need to behave in a safe and reasonable manner for the situation. In short, you are wrong.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

@Townspeak You may be right about some lights , BUT this had NOTHING to do with the light. I was even WRONG to say this happened at the intersection! This was not the fault of the intersection or the light!


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 10:52 a.m.

Finally someone who makes a lick of sense and everyone reacts. Yes, Townspeak, you are totally correct, except that AA does indeed not control that intersection. But I beg to differ with all the folks who really believe that going slow slow slower and defaulting on "stop" every second they drive are any safer. It was once wisely observed: if you are slow it doesn't mean you're safe. It only means you're slow. In fact, impeding traffic by being poky in the fast lane causes even more crashes.

Jake C

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 5:18 a.m.

"Lights on major arteries in and out of town are not timed for rush hours, " I think what you mean to say is "the Lights are not timed for me to get to my workplace at fast as possible".

Linda Peck

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:53 a.m.

Townspeak, I drove from Ford Road to Ann Arbor with practically all green lights today. They were very well timed. I think the problem is the drivers for the most part.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:58 a.m.

Whom exactly is it that you want to "fix it"? That intersection doesn't belong to Ann Arbor since I believe it is part of the business loop for 23, 94 or both. I'm sure you enjoyed you're misdirected moral outrage, peppered with the usual BS bingo words though. Perhaps if people slowed down, paid attention, and quit driving like entitled idiots, we would all be safer, eh?


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:57 a.m.

No, what we need is basic traffic enforcement. Too many around here drive recklessly, even through neighborhoods. Of late I've also seen a lot of drivers cutting through parking lots and drives in order to avoid traffic lights. The only traffic lights timed by the City of Ann Arbor are those IN Ann Arbor (e.g. NOT Washtenaw and Carpenter). The no turn on red lights PREVENT accidents nad the roads are plenty wide enough. SLOW DOWN and OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS!!!


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:24 a.m.

Kyle, you should do follow-ups on these accidents to find out what the causes were. Speed? Equipment failure? Medical issue? Distracted driver or other operator error?


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 5:39 p.m.

Forensic investigation of traffic accidents is a tried and proven science. The investigators will have a pretty good idea how the accident happened and what the speed of the vehicle was. There's so many cars stuck at that intersection that there should be dozens of witnesses. They can certainly figure out if the car's brakes failed and they can figure out if he applied the brakes or not. I agree with you AD, I would like to hear the results of this investigation as soon as they are complete.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 4:51 a.m.

U really believe they can always tell for sure ? How could you ever know if the driver was adjusting the radio or looking at something on the side of the road. Medical issues, well its hard enough for them to say for sure why every death happens-sometimes it comes back as uncertain and that is where the body had no injures. In a accident, limbs can even been torn off. Oh sure, sometimes a bad heart can be determent after a death but not every medical issue can be found. And what about just a bee/bug flew inside and was buzzing around and the driver lost control because of the bee/bug and it flew out after the crash. How are you going to figure that out if it happen and the driver is dead ?


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:44 a.m.

It is (past)time for us all to be outraged and indignant at the safety risks we all encounter and generally accept as "normal". If we can threaten (and impose) jail time for injury causation in construction zones couldn't we also demand similar punishment for operator error and distracted driving offenses causing an accident--something more than a ticket. Enough is enough! I also witnessed the carnage shortly after the accident about 8PM. At the time I assumed it was merely a parking lot issue but I also couldn't reconcile the volume of emergency responders with a parking lot issue. . . interesting to learn the circumstances.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:18 a.m.

My hubby and I drove past around 8:15 and they already had it taped off and all emergency vehicles were already on the scene. Looked like a terrible wreck! Prayers for the victim and his/her family and glad no one else was hurt.

Paula Gardner

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:16 a.m.

My family and I drove by on our way home - right about the time Kyle was publishing this story. He's told me he was writing about a rollover, but I couldn't even fathom that it happened in the parking lot of this restaurant. And these vehicles are not even close to the road!

Matt Cooper

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

I know that area well, and that parking lot in particular as I used to go there occasionally in years past when it was Bill Knapps. I'm wondering if the vehicle went airborne upon rolling up the embankment. A car can travel pretty far when in the air traveling at 50 mph, which is what I believe the posted speed limit is at the Washtenaw-US23 interchange.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:44 a.m.

I agree with you, it defies explanation of how far that car flew or rolled to its final spot. Its a good 30 yards form the corner which isn't that far but the fact it appears to be on top of parked cars that far off the road boggles my mind. Even if it flew off the exit ramp the driver had to be traveling at on ungodly speed. Curious to read the police report on this one.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:16 a.m.

. . .and just a week ago in the same vicinity a car from the NB23 ramp to EB Washtenaw, unwilling to wait for the traffic light, and eagerly pursuing the "right" to turn right on red, nosed out into my lane to the point where he essentially blocked my lane!. . .I stopped. I couldn't safely proceed as he was blocking a legal traffic lane. Thinking he was being "let out" into traffice as a courtesy he blindly sped accross my path into the second lane and was promptly side-swiped in a non-lethal accident. . . We don't know the circumstances,here. But, the overreaching and utter lack of driving skill and carelessness is truly appalling for our civilization. It is almost as if some people should simply not be allowed to drive.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

. . . and driving is generally viewed as a societal necessity. . . a virtual American birthright. . . SIGH.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

paul: ...and continue to drive anyway, with no insurance.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 4:42 a.m.

A few drivers should not be driving but if they don't drink and drive and just drive stupidly-never recklessly-chance are, they will never lose their drivers license the way the system works


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

This is an intersection that has been studied and studied and studied and everyone has drawn the same conclusion: that it is one of the most dangerous intersections in Ann Arbor....and yet NOTHING has been done about it in at least the past 20 years that I can recall this has been studied and studied...Your tax dollars at work.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

This intersection has been at least top two in the county for the number of accidents for over 30 years. My suggestion? Build a bridge over Carpenter Rd. so that the Washtenaw "through traffic" can avoid the intersection all together.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

@Halter, Instead of waiting for the city government to do something, why do YOU do something.... avoid the intersection.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

We await YOUR suggestion Halter! How about giving drivers IQ test?


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:54 a.m.

It's, at least they didn't put in a pedestrian crossing with HAWK lights.

It's hard to hide from facts

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:50 a.m.

Well, they did do something. They put a bike path on both sides, through the freeway entrance and exit ramps on the most dangerous intersection in the County.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:54 a.m.

That intersection is a nightmare. Routinely cars run red lights there because they can't be bothered to wait for the next cycle. Any way you slice it, this is an awful situation for those involved.


Sun, Aug 4, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

I drive there and I have yet to see anyone run a red light. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but certainly not "routinely." The intersection is poorly designed, especially considering the amount of traffic it receives. When I'm coming off SB23 and have to get into the left lane of Washtenaw to turn onto Hogback, I fly a little prayer that I can safely move across three lanes of traffic to get to the left turn lane in a very short distance. Once I get to the first left turn light, if it is red, I wait. While it is red, traffic exiting NB 23 (I think I have my directions right - it's the exit closest to Palm Palace) that needs to get into the left turn lane often have about the space of a half a car in that left lane to fit in. Maybe one or two cars can make it. A truck often has to straddle lanes to do so, backing up traffic in the lanes it is blocking. It's a mess. FRankly, I find that drivers generally do quite well, considering.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

This is the kind of intersection that sprawl creates, where large commercial/retail swaths create, and is what Michigan Ave between US23 and Saline could become, what Jackson Ave could have become if it didn't become a blvd, what AA/Saline road has become, and what Plymouth Road could become if growth continues NEward.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

The intersection just is. Drivers run red lights. Drivers creep out into lanes when it's not their turn. Drivers drive too fast for the area. This is a horrible outcome for those involved. But it isn't the fault of the intersection.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 4:43 a.m.

I agree with Dwight. The biggest danger at the intersection are low speed accidents, particularly left turns from Carpenter on to Washtenaw and US23, and traffic merging on to and off of Washtenaw from the US23 ramps. I'm curious as to how that car had so much momentum to roll over an embankment (the parking lot is noticeably higher than the street) and over parked cars. Very strange. Looks like a PT Cruiser, with a relatively high center of gravity.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 4:35 a.m.

nunya could be correct. heading west on washtenaw. we passed the accident soon after it happened. coming back, heading east toward the intersection, we noticed areas of grass near the 23 entrance ramp were taped off and investigators were walking the area, shining flashlights into the grass. that was a looong way from the parking lot. the parking lot is raised off the street by at least 5 feet. it hardly seems possible that the speed required to flip a car that high and that far into the parking lot could be attained coming through that busy intersection. but enough of my own speculation. when we drove through the intersection and we saw the van flipped over and draped with a sheet, my heart sunk. my husband and i started to pray. we kept on praying. when we came through the intersection again coming home-- about an hour later, the van was still there-- flipped over and draped. we prayed some more. Eternal rest grant unto the victim, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him/ her. Amen.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 3:44 a.m.

Have lived in that area for 15 years and take that intersection as much as the next resident there, and I've never once come close to being in a crash at that intersection. It's heavy trafficked and busy but it's not treacherous. It sure seems like this vehicle was driving at a very high rate of speed illegally to roll ONTO other cars.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:22 a.m.

Nunya, that sounds like speculation. I'll wait for the facts.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

agree but sounds like it had nothing to do with the intersection. Lost control exiting freeway.


Sat, Aug 3, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

Totally agree that it's a nightmare intersection.