Fatal Bridge Crash: Car Passing fuel tanker hits victim’s car head-on
CHASSELL TOWNSHIP — A Hubbell woman was killed in a four-vehicle crash in Chassell Township Saturday morning in which two others were injured.
The accident occurred around 10 a.m. at the Sturgeon River Bridge, about a mile south of Chassell.
A vehicle driven by Jennifer Jennings-Shaud, 40, of L’Anse in a Toyota RAV4 lost control of her vehicle on the icy road while trying to pass a semi-tractor trailer hauling diesel fuel and gasoline from Green Bay heading north on U.S. 41, the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.
The Toyota collided head-on with a southbound Honda CR-V, which was pushed into the northbound lane, where the fuel tanker hit it on the driver’s side. The driver of the CR-V, Christine Juntunen, 45, of Hubbell, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A southbound Audi driven by Eric Trapp, 40, of Hancock, was within the crash zone. Neither Trapp or his passengers Amanda Galetto, 43, or Brady Galetto, 12, also of Hancock, were injured.
Jennings-Shaud and her son, Ephraim, 9, of L’Anse, were treated at the scene by Chassell Township First Responders and Mercy EMS personnel. Mercy EMS then transported them to UP Health System — Portage hospital in Hancock. Jennifer Jennings-Shaud was then transported to UP Health System — Marquette hospital for further treatment.
The driver of the fuel truck, David Hopper, 50, of Green Bay was uninjured in the crash.
Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. All occupants were wearing seatbelts.
Traffic was detoured around U.S. 41 for several hours after the crash. One lane was reopened at about 9 p.m. Saturday. Traffic lights from the Michigan Department of Transportation were placed at the scene.
Some of the tanker’s 9,000 gallons of fuel spilled in the crash, necessitating a large, multiagency response.
Assisting at the scene were the Chassell Fire Department and First Responders; Hurontown Fire Department, which brought the Jaws of Life; Calumet Township Fire and Rescue for fuel containment; Ironwood Public Safety Fire and Rescue containment unit; Mercy EMS; Lake Linden Police Department accident investigator; Michigan State Police; Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Unit from Iron Mountain; U.S. Coast Guard containment unit; Houghton County Emergency Measures; Superior Service Wrecker; Gregg’s Wrecker Service from Ironwood; Michigan Department of Transportation; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and several volunteers.
An environmental cleanup team from Calumet/Brian Bonen Construction, DP Construction and another cleanup team from Bark River remain at the scene to clean up.