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Man dies when hit while changing tire

An Ann Arbor firefighter, who appeared to be changing a flat tire on the side of I-696 in Farmington Hills, was killed the morning of January 5. The 41-year-old man of Bloomfield Township was hit by at least three vehicles, according to Michigan State Police, and died as a result of this fatal accident. Just after 6:30 a.m., he somehow managed to get on the shoulder lane of westbound I-696.

The police report further states the victim was lying in the right lane, but they do not know how he got there. His BMW SUV was parked under the Farmington Road Bridge on the side of the highway. The accident stretched over 100 yards down the highway, and the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office was on scene performing an investigation. The Fire Chief of Ann Arbor could not be reached at the time of the investigation.

The police report indicates that grey Chevrolet Impala hit the median in an effort to avoid the first crash, and it resulted in a father and his two children needing hospitalization. The report further states one of the children may have a broken collarbone, but all are expected to survive.

The eastbound lanes of I-696 experienced major back-ups because the crash closed down the westbound lanes during morning rush hour. Traffic slowed considerably as drivers approached the location of the accident. The highway was closed between Northwestern Highway and where the accident occurred under the Farmington Road overpass, and reopened at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Detroit Free Press, "Man changing tire hit and killed on I-696; WB lanes now reopened," Tammy Stables Battaglia, Jan. 5, 2012

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