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1 killed in head-on crash in Leelanau Co.; first responder injured trying to put out fire

On Sept. 4 at 4:07 p.m., Leelanau County sheriff’s deputies and multiple fire and rescue agencies were sent to the 11000 block of South Bugai Road in Elmwood Township for a report of a two-car accident with injuries.

Leelanau County deputies arrived on scene within minutes and realized there were multiple victims and that one of the involved vehicles was on fire. Deputies immediately began removing victims from the vehicle and attempting to put out the fire. One deputy was injured in the attempt and was taken to Munson Medical Center for treatment and released.

It was determined by sheriff’s office investigators that the crash involved a northbound 2023 Toyota carrying four people and a southbound 2020 Chevrolet with three people and two dogs. All seven people on board were taken to Munson Medical Center for treatment by various ambulance services.


As a result of the crash, the front-seat passenger of the Chevrolet, a 46 year-old woman from Jenison, died, deputies said.

The initial investigation shows that the northbound Toyota attempted to pass a slower-moving vehicle and did not see the southbound Chevrolet prior to its passing attempt, deputies said. The vehicles collided almost head-on in the southbound lane. The crash remains under investigation.

Agencies assisting in the response were the Michigan State Police, Elmwood Twp. Fire and Rescue, Cedar Fire and Rescue, Suttons Bay Fire and Rescue, Mobile Medical Response (MMR) and the Leelanau County Road Commission.

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