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Accident on Mackinaw Bridge turns fatal

A fatal car accident on the Mackinac Bridge has claimed one life and left two people injured. The accident occurred in the afternoon when a big rig driver heading south crossed over the median and drifted into oncoming traffic.

The big rig missed one car before careening off of a rail and colliding with an oncoming vehicle. The driver of the big rig is dead, while the two occupants of the car it hit were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Initially it was suggested that wind may have played a factor in the car accident, but Mackinac Bridge Authority administrator dismissed the idea, saying that although there was a wind advisory that night, the wind was not strong enough to cause the accident. The administrator went on to explain that in winds exceeding 35 mph, it becomes a wind escort condition, where large, high risk vehicles are escorted across the bridge.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority isn't sure what caused the accident, but it is suspected that the driver of the big rig suffered a heart attack as he was crossing the bridge in the southbound lane.

The truck is reported to have traveled roughly a quarter of a mile before it came into contact with oncoming traffic. Police said that when the truck finally came to rest, a portion of it was hanging over a bridge railing, although it was not in any danger of plunging into the water below.

The incident closed the five-mile bridge for roughly three hours to allow police to investigate the scene of the crash. The delays created long lines of bumper to bumper traffic in both directions.

The identities of the victims have not yet been released.

Source: UpperMichiganSource.com, "Fatal crash closes Mackinac Bridge," Ty Czarnopis, Oct. 14, 2011

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