L’Anse man dies in traffic accident

GLADSTONE — The Michigan State Police Gladstone Post is still investigating a two-vehicle fatal traffic crash that occurred Saturday morning along U.S. 41.

Shortly after 4:10 a.m. Delta County Dispatch received a cell phone call reporting an erratic driver southbound on U.S. 41 near 38th Road. As dispatch was processing the first call, a second call was received at 4:16 a.m. reporting a head-on traffic crash along the highway.

According to a press release issued by the MSP, the southbound passenger car was driven by 21-year-old Sean Lake of L’Anse. Lake crossed into the northbound lane and into the path of a semi-truck, which was driven by 27-year-old Brandon Belanger of Escanada. Belanger attempted to avoid the collision but was unable to, ending in a head-on collision that resulted in both vehicles erupting in flames, the release states.

Lake was pronounced dead at the scene, while Belanger was transported to OSF St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba for treatment of minor injuries. U.S. 41 was closed for several hours during the investigation while traffic was rerouted to M-35 and S. 15 Road.

Traffic crash investigators were called to the scene to assist along with the Michigan State Police 8th District Traffic Crash Reconstruction Specialists. Also assisting at the scene were Masonville Township Fire Department, Delta County Sheriff Department, Delta County Road Commission, UP Health System Rampart EMS, Delta County Medical Examiner’s Office, Pro Towing and Gene’s Towing.

The crash is still under investigation. It is unclear whether alcohol is believed to be a factor.