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Posted on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 8:42 a.m.

3-car accident temporarily shuts down M-14

By John Counts

A crash on westbound M-14 shut down both lanes of the freeway Tuesday morning, a dispatcher with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office said.

Emergency crews including the Michigan State Police were dispatched to M-14 east of Ford Road at 8:05 a.m. for a three-car accident, according to Joyce Williams with Huron Valley Ambulance.

One of the vehicles had rolled over, Williams said. The two lanes of the freeway were temporarily shut down so wreckers could access the vehicles, the state police said. As of 8:30 a.m., the state police said the freeway was back open.

HVA was treating one stable patient on the scene, but there were no immediate transports to the hospital, Williams said.

Updated at 9:30 a.m.: Williams said one patient was transported in stable condition to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.

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



Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Start keeping track of how many of our Ann Arbor area crashes are during morning commute time. NBC news piece said sleeping pills are often still in effect when we get on the road and we are not totally alert. If you sleep 6 hours your 8-hour pill is still working and maybe coffee isn't enough.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Too many cars and not enough road! It would also help if drivers didn't drive as if they were in a NASCAR race (trying to get one more space ahead). Leaving home 15 minutes sooner can work miricles for the way people drive!


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:20 p.m.

What is even more tragic is they increased the speed from 55 to 65. There is no way anyone can get on with traffic going that fast.

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

Road is clear, sun has risen, westbound M-14 traffic heavy but manageable, then all it takes is one "operator" instead of a driver.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

Actually, I have been driving that road since it opened. The crashes occur a mile or two behind the initial entrance point. Same as on US-23 southbound. The deceleration surge catches a driver unaware that there is a good reason to slow down. When the required decel is low enough that you don't need to apply brakes, then the lack of brake lights challenges the cars behind THEM. Then Boom. I must say that there is a section of 96 when this never happens (Been driving that for 41 years come June). Vehicles enter and exit at the speed limit. Several areas (Like Beech Daly and 96 for example) there are entrances and exits using the same strech or road. Drivers there never fail to carefully merge. Its remarkably good. This is the model for Ann Arbor drivers, but it ain't not never going to happen.


Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

Ain't not never!


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

Bob: It was someone entering M-14 from Ford road that probably started the crash. They come on at a good safe speed of 35 and merge at 40 while smiling and proud of their accomplishment. This is a good safe speed that prevents following traffic from ever reaching the dangerous levels of 65 or 70. Reminds me of an old Far Side cartoon. People entering the rooms of fires in Hell. Room 1 is for "Murderers", room 2 is for "Terrorists", room 3 is for "People who drive slow in the left lane".


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

They are still considering shutting that portion off because they cannot get enough land usage to make that a safer on ramp then it is now. Who designed it? I have no idea. But it was long before cars could go faster then 50.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:12 a.m.

I think you are thinking of Barton Drive where you have STOP before merging. This is the worst idea ever. The second one being the Washtenaw exit/on ramps off 23.

Basic Bob

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

@argo, Yes, it is speculation based on experience. The only road with as many folks camping out in the left lane is I-96 between Brighton and Lansing.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

These statements about the cause being slow drivers in the left lane are just somebody's speculation, right?

Kyle Mattson

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 4:51 p.m.

Hi cibachrome, I'm not sure the actual crash location appeared to be just east of Ford Road, about a 1/4-1/2 mile from where it actually merges with WB M-14. Also, I will say that the ramp you reference (Ford to WB M14) is actually one of the more generous ones in the area with plenty of distance to accelerate up to 70 without problem.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

aduggs I have no problem with fining those that merge at lower than posted minimum speed. But then if the lazy late speeders were not driving 85 they would be able to react!


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

People who merge slower than flowing traffic need to be heavily fined. This is more than just a nuisance - it's dangerous! Especially when you force people behind you to merge slower than traffic flow.

Brigid Kowalczyk

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

I felt bad for all those folks on their way to work in Ann Arbor who were held up by the accident. By the time I arrived on my way to Detroit, the eastbound lanes were open. That was at 9 AM.

Kyle Mattson

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.

I was one of the Brigid. I hit the back up at North Territorial and it took a good 30 minutes just to get to Gotfredson where many were exiting then another 20-30 minutes to get to Ford Road. There were a number of individuals just driving across the median to get onto the EB side. By the time I got to the actual crash site it was completely cleaned up.

Basic Bob

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2:14 p.m.

I would bet someone was doing 60 in the left lane for the whole 15 miles between I-275 and US-23 - because there is a left exit. And someone else wanted to drive 90 and was willing to weave through traffic to do it. They need to post signs on this road to remind drivers to keep right except when passing. Didn't they teach that in drivers ed?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:59 p.m.

I paid $300 bucks for the first Segment. Yes, it is expensive. But you know what? It is an investment in the long run. At least you get to see them grow up.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 7:59 p.m.

I maybe wrong about this but last I knew the real problem is Drivers Ed cost so much that many kids do not take Drivers Ed in High School turn 18 years old and get driver liceinces.

Richard Carter

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

I like the electronic signs myself, but I have to agree... when there's nothing to post, they shouldn't have anything posted. Then maybe they'd have greater attention paid. Or if they could go to colors (green = nothing to see here, move along, yellow caution, red emergency) that might go a long way (though the color-blindness issue would need to be thought of).


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Paul? I am all for teen drivers learning how to drive a school bus. If you ever wanted to know what self defensive driving was all about using nothing but mirrors, a school bus is a good way to go. As I was told by a drivers ed teacher, most new drivers, if not all, within 3 years will have a minor to major accident which could include injury or death. Sad fact but true. Also, the reason to start them at 14 9 is to get them more experience on the road before they are let go and loose on someone else on the highway. Otherwise, 18 and no experience? Tragic.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

Oh we need LESS sign. Your eyes should be on the road watching traffic, not reading what an electron sign has posted ! How those came to be I got no idea..maybe to slow traffic down ? Sure, let them read and drive and they go a little slower so they can read everything the sign has posted. I try NOT to notice those signs, 99% of time its something dumb stay in your own lane or slower traffic keep right, duh. MDOT must think kids are allowed to drive


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 10:27 p.m.

Drivers ed is too worry about preaching about not drinking and driving, not talking and driving, seat belt uses, child seats, they forget how to train people how to drive! This gradation licenses don't help matter. Oh sure it helps keep more teens from crashing but then its age 25 and they still don't have the hang of driving down pat yet. Back when kids learned to drive full time age age 16 it was always those who learned to drive after high school that were the poor drivers. Today its normal to learn how to drive all the time later in life. Can we please hurry up with the semi self driving cars, we need them now.

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

BB you are SOOOO correct about this! Left lane hogging on M-14 is the (stupid) norm. I'd contribute to "stay right unless passing" signs if MDOT would hang them. And they are truly needed.

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

People... these accidents are getting obscene.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

Just wait until they increase the speeds again on certain highways. The death and accident toll will go even higher. Sad isn't it?


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Must be 70 crashes a year on area freeways. Oh wait why speculate.That information will be in an article soon.LOL


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

Bottom line is that we still kill 35,000 Americans each year on the road. The number injured (guessing here) is probably ten times that. I hope that the "integrated vehicle" study being done in NE A2 will someday help reduce that carnage.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

Thanks Cindy I will stop ribbing you.

Cindy Heflin

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Actually, jcj, we are looking into crash statistics and hope to be writing about this soon.