Royal Oak — Just minutes before the new year, a driver died in a crash on Interstate 696 in Oakland County, and drugs and alcohol appear to be possible factors, Michigan State Police said.
It was 11:55 p.m. Sunday on eastbound Interstate 696 at Bermuda in Royal Oak when a 2018 Jeep Compass was spotted "driving erratically," Michigan State Police said in a statement via Twitter. It then crashed into the left median wall and came to rest on the left shoulder, blocking part of the left lane.
Another driver spotted the crash, and stopped to help, but before long, a Ford Ranger in the left lane came speeding toward them, and it wasn't stopping. The people who intervened, described by state police as Good Samaritans, were able to jump over the median wall and escape danger.
But the driver of the Compass stepped out from behind that vehicle and was hit by the Ranger. The driver of the Compass, identified by police only as a woman, died. The driver of the Ranger stopped and has been "cooperative" as police begin their investigation.
Drug and alcohol tests are pending on both parties to the crash.
Michigan State Police reminded motorists to remain in their vehicles and buckled up after car crashes.
"Please remember to stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on after a crash. It’s the safest spot you can be," the statement said. "If you can move your vehicle to a safe spot out of the travel lanes, do it. If you witness a crash, it is better to continue on and notify 911."
According to the latest figure released by the Michigan Department of Transportation on Dec. 19, some 994 people died in car crashes in Michigan in 2017.