2017-12-21 / Front Page

1 person, 2 hours, 3 accidents

Last one was by far the worst
By Alan Campbell
Of The Enterprise staff


TRACKS LEFT by a car driven by a 72-year-old county resident show that her third accident of the day had the potential to be much more dangerous than her first two. TRACKS LEFT by a car driven by a 72-year-old county resident show that her third accident of the day had the potential to be much more dangerous than her first two. They say trouble comes in “threes,” so having county deputies respond to three reports of accidents in less than two hours during slippery driving conditions isn’t that unusual.

But finding the same person behind the steering wheel at all three accidents may set some kind of record.

“We are very concerned about her driving, and we have her scheduled for a driver’s license exam,” Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich said of the 72-year-old woman, who resides in the county. “She was totally cooperative and showed no signs of drug or alcohol use.”

The first two accidents that occurred last Wednesday, Dec. 20, were minor, and consisted of the woman’s vehicle sliding off the road with no damage or injuries.

Her driving problems began at 12:20 p.m. off Eckerle Road at Center Highway in Bingham Township. Deputies helped pull her out of the ditch.

A second call came in at 1:45 p.m. for a vehicle that had left the road at Herman Road and M-204 in Suttons Bay Township. This time Bingham Towing helped get her back on the road, Borkovich said.

The third accident had the potential to be much more serious, he said.

At 2:06 p.m. a call was taken by dispatchers about an eastbound vehicle that had slid through the M-204 and M-22 intersection in Suttons Bay, sheered off a telephone pole, and rolled over. M-22 was closed for 30 minutes while workers cleaned up the mess, and the woman’s vehicle was removed by Bingham Towing, Borkovich said.

Driving in Leelanau was treacherous on that day, Borkovich said. More than five inches of snow was recorded in Maple City, where temperatures struggled to hit 18 degrees.

“Road conditions were very, very slippery. We were not only dealing with snow-polished roads with high winds, but the road surface itself had a black ice condition,” he said.

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