At least 2 die in Mich. crashes on New Year’s Day

The Detroit News

To the relief of police, the new year started more with a whimper than a bang in Metro Detroit.

Local and state police reported few major incidents during the end of 2015 and the start of 2016 on local roads or highways.

The new year dawned with a dusting of snow for Metro Detroit, with scattered snow showers and flurries tapering off to cloudy conditions that will run through most of the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

With light traffic because of the holiday, the snow caused just a few disruptions on the highways, including a spinout accident Friday morning on southbound Interstate 75 over East Maple Road in Troy.

At least two traffic-related fatalities were reported around Michigan on the first day of 2016.

In Detroit, police reported that a woman died early Friday morning when her vehicle struck an abandoned building on the city’s west side. Three people in the SUV were taken to a local hospital, where their conditions were unknown, Detroit police said. The identity of the woman who died wasn’t released.

The crash occurred about 2 a.m. at Livernois and Linsdale in a commercial district, police said. The brick building struck by the vehicle once was a store. Police said they were checking whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

Detroit police reported no formal complaints about New Year’s Eve gunfire stemming from the city’s tradition of revelers firing off pistols, shotguns and more to ring in the new year.

More widely, several Michigan State Police posts reported no major accidents or fatalities, though final numbers for the long holiday weekend haven’t been compiled. During the three-day 2014-15 New Year’s holiday, state police reported 17 traffic-related fatalities, including 15 fatal vehicle crashes and four alcohol-related crashes.

WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids reported that a 17-year-old runaway from a home for troubled youths was killed after being hit by a minivan shortly before 6 a.m. Friday while walking on the shoulder of Interstate 94 near 26 Mile in Sheridan Township, near Marshall.

The roads should be clear of ice and snow through the weekend, with highs near 30 that will be slightly below normal to usher in January. According to the weather service, conditions in Metro Detroit are expected to turn even colder through early next week.

■Saturday: A chance of flurries and freezing drizzle before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. West southwest wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

■Saturday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. Southwest wind 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

■Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32. Northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

■Sunday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22.

■Monday: Scattered snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 26. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.