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September 4, 2013

M-72 crash victim in fair condition

KALKASKA — A Kalkaska woman who survived a two-vehicle collision on M-72 in Excelsior Township that killed a Waterford man is listed in fair condition at Munson Medical Center.

Tracey Lane Tennant, 48, was hospitalized Tuesday after her Chevrolet Equinox was struck head-on by a westbound Ford Focus just east of Baker Road. The driver of the Ford, Luther Thomas, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kalkaska County Sheriff Dave Israel said investigators await toxicology results after an inconclusive autopsy; Thomas received numerous injuries to his left side in the crash, but they may not have caused his death.

"The injuries he had should not have killed him," Israel said, but noted the stress of the crash could have caused an immediate heart attack.

Investigators still don't know whether a medical condition led Thomas to drive his vehicle across the center line or if he was trying to pass another vehicle. Witnesses said Thomas' vehicle was speeding and crossed the center line several times before the crash.

Israel said he didn't know how fast the vehicles were traveling, but both were totaled in the collision. He estimated the debris was spread across the length of two football fields.

"It was really bad," he said.

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