CEDAR — A crash left one man dead and two others with serious injuries.
Shortly after noon on Saturday, 80-year-old Richard Szatkiewicz, of Traverse City, was driving south on South Cedar Road, according to a release from the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department.
He neared M-72 and, as witnesses told deputies, his silver Dodge van blew through the stop sign, pulling out before a silver 2016 Chevrolet driven by a 73-year-old Traverse City man.
Szatkiewicz was severely injured and died later that day at Munson Medical Center. His 78-year-old wife, who was in the passenger’s seat, and the Chevrolet’s driver were also severely injured and taken to Munson.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich. “It’s always a little bit of our heart that hurts too — we aren’t just out there taking measurements.”
It’s death No. 3 at that intersection this year, he added.
He suggests drivers practice extra caution at intersections like it, where two roads run at an odd angle to each other — oncoming traffic can hide in blind spots created by your car’s frame, he says.
“I highly recommend to people they look two or three times in each direction,” he said. “You stop, look, evaluate before you go.”
Leelanau County deputies responded to the scene and assisted by Cedar Area Fire and Rescue, Elmwood Fire and Northflight EMS.
An investigation into the matter is ongoing.