Eastbound I-69 closed over two hours for investigation


Officials believe a medical condition may have been a factor with one of the drivers involved in this two-vehicle fatal crash on I-69 last week. The other driver was treated at a local hospital.

ELBA TWP. — Shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, emergency personnel responded to a report of a two-vehicle, head-on crash on I-69 in Elba Twp.

The Lapeer County Sheriff Department and other agencies responded to the crash scene at 4:50 p.m., according to a press release from the Sheriff Department.

The incident was reported to be on eastbound I-69, east of Lake Nepessing Road, in Lapeer County.

Investigators determined that 31-year-old Derek Hockin of Lapeer was the driver and lone occupant of a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze.

In the release, Detective Sgt. Jason Parks said Hockin was traveling westbound I-69 and at some point, he departed the westbound lanes, traveling through the grassy median.

Hockin’s vehicle then entered the Eastbound I-69 side, traveling in the wrong direction.

According to investigators, Hockin struck a westbound 2011 Ford Explorer driven by a 22-year-old Lapeer female. The female driver was the lone occupant of the vehicle, and the accident report shows the collision to have been considered “head on”.

The collision caused the 2011 Ford Explore to spin as a result of impact, coming to rest within the traveled portion of the expressway.

The Chevrolet Cruze also spun out of control, according to deputies and came to rest along the south shoulder of the expressway.

Firefighters with the Elba Township Fire Department responded to the scene and used life-saving equipment to extricate both drivers from the wreckage.

Lapeer County EMS transported the 22-year- old woman to McLaren Lapeer Region where she was reported to be in stable condition.

Investigators say Hockin was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Lapeer County Sheriff Department was assisted at the scene by the Michigan State Police Lapeer Post, City of Lapeer Police Department, Lapeer Township Police, Metamora Township Police, Elba Township Fire and Rescue, Lapeer County EMS, and the Lapeer County Reconstruction Team.

The eastbound lanes of I-69 were closed for approximately two and a half hours for rescue and investigative purposes, according to Det. Sgt. Parks.

The crash remains under investigation by Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department.

Preliminary investigation suggests that neither impairment nor excessive speeds are contributing factors. A medical condition was identified and is being explored as a potential contributing factor.

Anyone with information is requested to contact D/Sgt. Jason Parks at jparks@lapeercounty.org or 810-656-1015.