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Posted on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 10:06 a.m.

Utility workers discover man dead in ditch after single-car crash

By Lee Higgins

A Clinton man was found dead Tuesday night after a crash on Michigan Avenue in Saline Township, Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies said.

Deputies said the 45-year-old man was ejected from a 2004 Jeep that went off the road, hit a tree, went airborne, hit another tree and came to rest on its roof.

The man was found at 11 p.m. by DTE workers who were in the area of West Michigan Avenue and Case Road, working to repair an electrical line, deputies said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities have not released his name.

Sheriff's department spokesman Derrick Jackson said the man was the only occupant of the Jeep. The accident remains under investigation.

The crash location is between Saline and Clinton.

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Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 8:31 a.m.

My deepest sympathy to Mr.Coffey and his friends and family. To answer tdw's question if DTE found him, the answer is no. DTE did not find him, it was my fiancee who located him. Where the accident happen is where Michigan Ave curves slightly to the left (heading west) before making a sharp right. In the 7 years we have lived here W cars have missed the curve and went either thru our yard or ended up flying out into the field. Perhaps a guardrail would help? As for the snow and ice, I agree that it does get slippery and drifted but am grateful that the road comission does an excellent job salting and plowing this road. Again my deepest sympathy to the Coffey family.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

He has now been identified as Roger Elliott Coffey ( <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;pid=154936968</a> ). Again, my condolences to his family and friends.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 12:38 a.m.

To the commenter(s) who think raising the driver responsibility fees would help: (1) It would seem that is totally irrelevant to this story. (2) So what you want is more drivers driving with suspended/revoked licenses because they can't afford to pay the fines, and driving without insurance because they can't insure their car? Yeah, real smart. My condolences to the family involved


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 12:19 a.m.

Of course I will start off by saying how terrible this is, and it will be a tragedy to his friends and family. But my main question is did this accident go unnoticed until DTE arrived to fix a powerline? No passer-by called in an accident or anything for that matter?


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 8:46 a.m.

You couldn't see the jeep from the road. There is a line of trees along the road and the area where the jeep landed was a downhill slope away from the road. The only clues there was an accident was the damage to the power pole and damage to my pine tree.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

addendum, I forgot to mention that they found the other driver when this driver landed next to the other car. Weird huh?


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

What is interesting by you saying this is that when there was an accident in Nevada, a car went off the same stretch of road that another car went off almost a month prior and no one noticed him going off either. The fact that this cars driver survived is because he used his cell phone. The other driver had his turned off. One survived, the other did not. I think they put up barriers to avoid this from happening again. Wonder if this should happen here too.

John of Saline

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

Wear your seat belt, folks.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

You can be wearing your belt? But those too also fail. I have many a tale of this happening.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

This was a great man! Rest in peace my friend and my thoughts and prayers are with your family as they go through this rough patch in their life.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

i knew him as well... he was a great guy...still hard to believe he has passed away.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

We need to remember someone was killed, and we do not know all the facts of this horrible accident. May he rest in peace


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

My condolences to his family and friends. This stretch of US-12 is notoriously dangerous, particularly during times of freezing precipitation. There have been many deaths over the years, one of which was of a very well-liked Adrian physician (I believe his name was Bruce Alan Jones, MD) who was killed when his automobile was demolished by a semi-truck when Dr. Jones lost control of the car on an icy stretch and veered into the path of the truck. He was on his way to a Quaker service in Ann Arbor, if memory serves me correctly. There are many areas with open fields, and snow will often blow across the road and freeze to black ice. Driving safely between Clinton and Saline under these conditions requires the driver use an abundance of caution and a willingness to drive more slowly than the posted 55 MPH limit.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

There is a stretch coming into Saline that is also dangerous as well. Either way, this is open field space and when the winds howl? It becomes a skate rink. Good luck to the family.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.

@cinnabar7071, I second @Frank Lee's succinct reply to yours. I was not &quot;...blaming the road for bad driving...,&quot; I was blaming the environmental circumstances for creating treacherous conditions on the road. A driver could be driving quite responsibly and, due to circumstances that could be unforeseen, still find themselves in danger. You can lose control of your vehicle if you try to brake on ice, even if you are going 10 MPH. Are you saying that, in order to avoid all accidents, drivers should be driving at 5 MPH? Not all accidents are avoidable unless you are in the sole possession of a retrospectoscope.

Frank Lee

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 6:16 p.m.

@ Cinnabar7071: Your comment only strengthens the statement you quote and disagree with. Fault doesn't negate danger.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

DBH, I agree with you. M-52 has the same problem.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

&quot;This stretch of US-12 is notoriously dangerous,&quot; No it's not, I drive that section of road all the time and never even had a close call. More like drivers not paying attention are dangerous on that section of road. Stop blaming the road for bad driving, and no I'm not blaming the victim, he could have been run off the road by another car.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

I'm sorry to learn of this accident. I hope that his family and friends will find peace.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

Silly question here.Does that mean they discovered the accident ?