July 18, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Mom, son, die in crash involving milk tanker truck in Lakeport

Lakeport — A Wixom woman and her 15-year-old son were killed Thursday afternoon when their minivan was struck by a milk tanker in Lakeport.

Killed in the crash was the driver, Jarrod Robert Smith, 15, and his mother, Karen Smith, 53. Kaitlynn Smith; Jarrod’s 21-year-old sister was riding in the back seat and received minor injuries.

According to police, Smith, who was driving on his learner’s permit, turned his Ford Explorer into the path of a milk tanker at the intersection of Burtch and Lakeshore.

“It looks like he just made a mistake,” Sheriff Tim Donnellon said. “We believe he either didn’t see the truck or misjudged its speed. He did everything right: went to driver’s training, had a valid learner’s permit and was driving with his mother in the car.

“But it’s difficult to stop a 145,000 pound truck traveling at 50 mph.”

The driver of the milk tanker was uninjured.

Donnellon said he visited the Smith family and said they were bearing up as best they could.

“They’re strong people with a strong belief system,” Donnellon said.

The crash remains under investigation.

TGreenwood@detroitnews.com
(313) 222-2345