By JOHN PEPIN, Journal Munising Bureau
SENEY — The head-on crash of a pickup truck and loaded logging truck near Seney Thursday afternoon claimed the life of a downstate man and forced the closure of a 25-mile section of M-28 for almost three hours.
Timothy McCoy, 44, of downstate Garden City was killed when his eastbound 2001 Ford F-150 pickup crossed the centerline and slammed into the front of a logging truck driven by Kerry Sundberg, 55, of Rapid River, according to Michigan State Police troopers from the Munising post.
McCoy’s truck was pulling a snowmobile trailer with two sleds. The smashed trailer and sleds were thrown to the north side of M-28 while both of the trucks ended up off the south shoulder of the road, facing west.
Meanwhile, the load of logs being hauled in Sundberg’s tractor-trailer spilled onto the highway, blocking traffic lanes.
Police and emergency crews were dispatched to the accident scene at 12:20 p.m., which occurred in Schoolcraft County, five miles west of Seney near the Driggs River and about a mile west of a Michigan Department of Transportation rest area.
Sundberg was not hurt in the crash. Police said both drivers were wearing safety belts.
Troopers at the scene said they did not know why McCoy’s vehicle crossed the centerline.
M-28 from Shingleton to Seney was closed by police and highway officials at 1:30 p.m. Traffic was rerouted along M-77 and M-94. Crews from the Alger County and Schoolcraft County road commissions directed traffic. Trucks too large to turn around on the road were forced to wait out the road closure.
Two large logging trucks with pick-up cranes worked to remove the spilled logs from the highway. Wrecker crews from Eagle Towing of Engadine and Jeff Bond Towing of Munising worked to remove the smashed vehicles from the scene.
Bond said it took two wreckers to pull the logging truck out of the soft marsh grass alongside the road where the driver’s side front wheel of the logging truck had dug deeply into the ground and spun its tire off the rim.
“It’s one of the worst accidents I’ve seen up here,” Bond said.
McCoy’s truck was demolished and the snowmobile trailer left in pieces. Sundberg’s logging truck had the hood torn open and front end smashed and dented.
Road commission crews used a power broom to help clean up debris from the roadway and a sander helped soak up fluids from the vehicles.
The highway was reopened at 4:15 p.m.
Troopers from the Munising and Newberry posts were also assisted at the scene by Luce County EMS, Seney Township Fire and EMS, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the state police Motor Carrier Division.
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