Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

April 4, 2014

Two drivers dead in Kalkaska County crash

KALKASKA — A head-on, two-vehicle crash along an isolated stretch of Kalkaska County road claimed the lives of two drivers.

Emergency personnel arrived at the Thursday afternoon crash in Boardman Township to find two mangled vehicles and two victims.

A Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department press release stated Shanda Rhoat, 24, of Kalkaska, was driving a sport utility vehicle east on Supply Road near Grand Kal Road when her vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a pickup truck driven by Kurt Mueller, 41. Sheriff’s officials said Mueller is from Kalkaska, but Michigan Secretary of State records list him as a Fife Lake resident.

“One car crossed the center line and impacted the other one,” Kalkaska County sheriff’s Sgt. Harry Shipp said.

Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Their vehicles showed signs of a devastating head-on crash.

The SUV’s front end crumpled into its front seats; the pickup’s cab lay in the truck’s bed after emergency personnel used the Jaws of Life to reach the victim. Firefighters swept debris and shattered glass off the roadway as wreckers removed the vehicles.

The crash occurred just east of Grand Traverse County’s line. Dispatch records show a call came in at 1:41 p.m.

“We had some witnesses that did stop and call 911,” Shipp said.

Sheriff’s deputies and local fire departments closed the tree-lined, rural stretch of road for several hours between Fife Lake Road in Grand Traverse County and U.S. 131.

The crash continues to be under investigation.

Deputies started to inform the victim’s families within hours.



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