UPDATE: Medical reaction to marijuana blamed for Escanaba Thanksgiving crash

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Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 5:25 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2022 at 2:08 PM EST
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Escanaba Department of Public Safety (EPS) has released the conclusion from their investigation into a multi-vehicle crash that resulted in two fatalities on Thanksgiving last year.

The crash, which occurred on the 1600 block of North Lincoln Road on Nov. 25, 2021, involved three vehicles and resulted in two fatalities, five serious injuries, and two minor injuries. Kelly Marie Piquette, 60, and Tony John Hurkmans, 61, both of Escanaba, died in the crash.

Investigators found that the driver of the at-fault vehicle, Hurkmans, had a high level of marijuana present in his system when the crash occurred.

Escanaba Public Safety said Michigan State Police Accident Reconstructionists and officers from EPS reviewed data from the at-fault vehicle and determined that it was traveling over 70 mph at the time of the crash.

Additionally, detectives interviewed a witness who was a passenger in the at-fault vehicle. The witness said that Hurkmans and the other occupants of the vehicle had smoked marijuana in the car shortly before the accident occurred. The marijuana appeared to the witness to be a “pre-rolled joint” purchased from a marijuana dispensary.

The witness said Hurkmans seemed to have a reaction to the marijuana, including coughing, and he appeared to lose consciousness just prior to the crash.

EPS said a blood sample of Hurkmans was analyzed by the MSP Forensics Lab and revealed a high level of active marijuana in his system at the time of his death. His blood sample also revealed levels of gabapentin, citalopram, topiramate, and buprenorphine. He did not have alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.

Escanaba Public Safety was assisted by Michigan State Police, Rampart EMS, OSF, Delta County Central Dispatch, Delta County Sheriff Department, Guardian Flight, Ford River Volunteer Fire Department, Escanaba Township Fire Department, Genes Towing, and Delta County Road Commission.

Last published: Nov 30, 2021 2:34:45 AM

Escanaba Department of Public Safety has released the names of the two people that died in a crash on the 1600 block of North Lincoln Road Thanksgiving evening.

Kelly Marie Piquette, 60, of Escanaba, and Tony John Hurkmans, 61, of Escanaba died in the crash.

The remaining seven people involved in the three-vehicle crash are recovering from their injuries. Four of them remain in the hospital. Two are in Marquette and the other two are in Green Bay.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Two people are dead after a three-car crash in Escanaba on Thanksgiving evening.

According to Escanaba Public Safety, officers responded around 6:00 p.m. Thursday to the 1600 block of North Lincoln Road.

The crash killed two people and seven others were taken to medical facilities by Rampart EMS or Guardian Flight, public safety says.

The road has reopened, but traffic was detoured for about four hours while the Michigan State Police reconstructed the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

No further details have been released, including the names of the victims. This story will be updated when more information is available.

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