Woman involved in accident with semi dies

File photo
Betty Childs, 85, of Standish, died due to injuries incurred in an accident between the Ford Fusion she was driving and the semi pictured here.

STANDISH — The driver of a Ford Fusion that was involved in an accident with a semi truck in Lincoln Township Oct. 15 has died, according to Arenac County Undersheriff Don McIntyre.

McIntyre said Betty Jean Childs, 85, of Standish passed away at approximately 1 p.m. Oct. 15 while she was hospitalized at St. Mary’s of Michigan Saginaw Hospital with head and neck injuries incurred in the accident with the semi.

Reportedly, Childs’ car and the semi were both traveling southbound on US-23 at the time of the incident, when Childs’ Fusion collided with the rear end of the semi.

McIntyre said the driver of the truck did not know there had been a collision with another vehicle.

“The passenger car that struck the semi was a smaller Ford Fusion. The driver was unaware he was struck in the rear of the vehicle,” McIntyre said. “He thought he struck something in the roadway.”

He added that the truck driver stopped into a tire and service center in Standish after the incident, and discovered the semi had tire damage and a bent rear axle. The truck was later stopped on M-61 in Standish.

McIntyre said an accident reconstructionist with the Michigan State Police investigated the accident, and informed the sheriff’s office that it is not uncommon for a semi driver to not know the full extent of a collision.

“He’s seen several cases similar to this, where vehicles that are in transit with heavy, heavy loads don’t feel the impact,” he said.

Both vehicles were in motion at the time of the accident, McIntyre said. The cause of the incident is currently not known.

“We’re still investigating the cause of the crash,” he said. “She never left the roadway and there are no indications that she ever intended to brake. We’re looking at a couple of different things to determine the cause of the crash, medical being one of them.”

The accident occurred at approximately 7:15 a.m. Oct. 15.


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