Woman killed in M-66 crash near Ionia; 3 others injured

Ionia County

ORLEANS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State Police say a three-vehicle crash near Ionia killed a Lansing woman.

It happened around 10:30 a.m. Thursday on M-66 near M-44/Belding Road on the border of Orleans and Ronald townships, about 6 miles north of Ionia.

Troopers say the victim’s Buick Lucerne was stopped on northbound M-66, waiting to turn left into a local business when it was rear-ended by a Dodge Caravan.

The impact of the crash pushed the Buick into the southbound lane.

“And just at the same time a large pickup truck was coming along unfortunately, and T-boned her right in the passenger side. She was killed instantly,” said MSP Lt. Christian Clute.  

The 78-year-old woman driving the Buick was the only person inside her vehicle.

The two other drivers and the passenger in the Caravan were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. Their conditions are unclear.

The crash remains under investigation. Authorities are withholding the victim’s name until her family has been notified.

Neighbors say they’ve been after the state and anyone else who will listen to do something to improve safety along that stretch of road.

“Probably once every five years or so, there’s a fatal accident in this area. I’m not sure what contributes to that, but we certainly have had our share of crashes in this area,” said Clute.

The Michigan Traffic Safety Facts website shows the number of accidents on that portion of road.

Clute says it’s too early in the investigation to determine if tickets or charges will be issued in connection with the crash.

Two of the vehicles were equipped with “black boxes,” which will help in the investigation.

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