CEDAR — A two-car crash in Leelanau County Friday left two people dead and another with minor injuries.
Husband and wife Jerry and Lucie Burkhardt, both 79, were pronounced dead at the scene after Leelanau Sheriff Mike Borkovich said they pulled out in front of a Ryder rental truck.
The crash occurred around 2:30 p.m., scattering the intersection of South Cedar Road and M-72 with debris and left the couple’s red 2010 Hyundai on its side.
Witnesses said the couple’s northbound car, driven by Jerry Burkhardt, made a complete stop before pulling forward in front of the westbound truck.
“I’m guessing they just looked to their right and didn’t see it,” Borkovich said. “(The other driver), he didn’t have any time to react.”
The other driver locked his brakes in an attempt to stop, he added, before colliding with the Hyundai’s passenger side. The driver, a Kaleva man, was left with minor injuries.
Borkovich said police have no reason to suspect drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.
The Leelanau County couple were retirees, Borkovich said, and Jerry was a former marine safety deputy with the Sheriff’s Department.
“We feel very badly for them and their families — and for the guy in the truck,” he said. “Our hearts go out to their family.”
The Sheriff’s Department deputies and Cedar Area Fire and Rescue responded to the crash. Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Department deputies and Department of Natural Resources officers, along with Northflight EMS, also assisted.
The crash is still being investigated, pending autopsies of each of the Burkhardts in Kalamazoo.
This story was updated 7/10/19 to correct the misspelled name of the couple.