A Marshall teen is in serious condition after police think he lost control on an icy rural roadway and hit a tree.   Calhoun County Sheriff’s deputies got a call about 7:30 pm on Thursday about a single-vehicle crash In the area of 19 Mile Road and F Drive South in Marshall Township.

Deputy Tim Howell tells us that upon arrival, Deputies found a vehicle that had struck a tree and ended up in the ditch.   The 18-year-old driver was found pinned in the vehicle and unconscious.

Firefighters from the Homer and Fredonia Township Fire Departments were able to extricate him from the vehicle.  He was then flown by helicopter to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo.

Preliminary investigations show that the driver may have lost control of his vehicle on an isolated portion of the ice-covered road.  The incident remains under investigation by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s accident reconstruction team.

Photo: John Weast/Getty Images

A State of Michigan website says that between 2015 and 2019, there were 402 fatalities and 2,699 serious injuries on icy, snowy, or slushy roads in the state.

So far this winter, Michigan drivers may have been lulled into a false sense of security as a result of relatively mild weather.  But temperatures have remained below freezing for the last half of January, leading to sheets of ice, especially in patches on rural roadways.   Add to that, an active deer herd in Calhoun County, and distractions from cell phones, and it could be a recipe for disaster.

State Police Offer the following tips for safe winter driving:

  • "Drive slow on ice & snow" is the theme for our winter driving safety program. That's because it's our #1 tip for staying safe on wintry roads.
  • Your tires are the only points of contact between your car and the road, so choose them wisely and maintain them well.
  • On snowy or icy roads, it can take up to ten times longer to stop your vehicle. Slowing down and allowing more room between your vehicle and the one ahead of you gives you more time to react and brake, thus reducing your crash risk.
  • Don’t use cruise control on ice and snow. If your car skids, the cruise control will accelerate to maintain a constant speed — spinning your wheels even faster and increasing the chance you will lose control of your vehicle.
  • Remove all snow and ice from your vehicle, especially from all windows, the windshield, mirrors, headlights, and taillights. Snow and ice can dim the beams of lights and reduce visibility.
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