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PARMA, MI – Two people were killed Saturday, February 5, in a truck accident on a highway in Jackson County, Michigan. Severe winter weather is believed to be a major factor in the fatal crash on Interstate 94 in the city of Parma, MI. The truck accident occurred west of the Ann Arbor metro region in the south central part of the state, about 100 miles southeast of Grand Rapids, MI and about 110 miles northwest of Toledo, Ohio.

On Saturday afternoon an unidentified truck driver was traveling through south central Michigan, headed west on Interstate 94. A heavy winter snow storm was moving through the area at the time of the truck accident, resulting in whiteout conditions and extremely low visibility.

Also on westbound I-94 was a young married couple, Chad Cole, 39, and Sara Cole, 35, of Jackson, MI. The couple, who were expecting their first child in late February, was seated in the backseat of a van driven by Mrs. Cole’s father, Clarence Fisher. Her mother, Carlene Fisher, was a front seat passenger. The group was on the way to Kalamazoo for a family celebration when the truck accident occurred.

According to police the van had reached Jackson County at about 1:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon and was near the juncture with Dearing Road in Parma when road conditions became treacherous. Several other vehicles were spinning out on the icy highway. The van driver, Mr. Fisher, decided to pull off the road and was stopping when the driver of the westbound tractor trailer came up from behind on the interstate. The semi driver apparently did not see the stopped van and slammed into the smaller vehicle. The force of the truck accident crushed in the back of the van and pushed the vehicle off the shoulder.

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The young man in the van, Mr. Cole, discovered that his wife had sustained serious injuries in the rear-end collision and was unconscious and not breathing. Someone in the van spotted an emergency vehicle on the interstate at another crash site and implored the EMTs to come to the truck accident scene and check on Mrs. Cole.

Mrs. Cole was transported to Allegiance Health Care Center in Ann Arbor, MI. Sadly she had suffered fatal injuries in the truck accident and died a short time later. Her unborn child was delivered a short time after Mrs. Cole died. The baby was transported to University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor and then transferred to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, also in Ann Arbor. Tragically the newborn baby was seriously injured and died the next day.

The baby’s father, Mr. Cole, was also taken to Allegiance Health and was treated for minor, non life threatening injuries. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher were not hurt in the truck accident. The unidentified truck driver also escaped serious injuries.

Michigan State Police took control of the fatal crash site and worked to divert vehicles around the truck accident scene. Officers closed a section of westbound I-94 for several hours Saturday afternoon while emergency teams helped the victims and highway crews cleared the interstate.

MSP officials reconstructed the truck accident but have not yet released any statements. The dangerous weather and road conditions are considered factors in the deadly crash. MSP was still gathering information and interviewing witnesses as of Monday.

No one was arrested at the scene on Saturday, and it is not known if the semi driver was compelled to submit to a toxicology screening, sometimes required after a commercial truck accident.

When the MSP has completed their investigation they will forward their findings to the Jackson County Prosecutor who will determine if charges will be brought against anyone for the fatal truck accident.


Gordon Elias & Seely, LLP recommend that if you know anyone who has been injured or killed as the result of a commercial truck accident involving a semi truck, 18 wheeler, big rig, tractor trailer or bus, tell them to immediately contact a qualified truck accident lawyer for advice. Often times the truck company and the truck driver will be from other states other than where the accident occurred. Truck accident attorneys often times have relationships with other experienced truck accident attorneys licensed in other states. Gordon, Elias & Seely LLP are licensed in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Washington, DC and have informal relationships with other truck accident lawyers. For more information, visit their page about MI truck accident lawyers or call 800.773.6770.

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