Teens badly injured when car slams into utility pole

BAY CITY (WJRT) - (03/20/17) - Two 18 year olds have been hospitalized after their car slammed into a utility pole.

The one car crash happened around 11:15 p.m. Sunday in Bay County's Kawkawlin Township near the border with Fraser Township.

The Michigan State Police believe the 18-year-old driver had been drinking before crashing along Mackinaw Road near Linwood Road.

Mary Haddix lives along Mackinaw Road and heard the crash.

"Came out and there was a fire on the ground," Haddix said.

Bob Younce is Haddix's neighbor. His teenage daughter heard the crash, so he went to see if he could help.

"Everything was just extremely mangled, you had no idea what kind of vehicle it was," Younce said.

MSP says the car was a Kia Optima.

The rear end of the Optima wrapped around the utility pole, causing pieces of the pole to become stuck in the wreckage.

Younce first found the 18-year-old girl who had been in the passenger seat. He says she was under the passenger side airbags.

"The gal that was injured was off to the side, and the whole right side of the car, the passenger side, the debris was spread all across," Younce said.

She was trapped in the wreckage and first responders had to carefully get her out.

Younce also saw the man driving.

"Driver's side door opens and a guy steps out, kid you know, and a, bit of a gash on his head," Younce said.

Younce called out to him, telling him to stop.

"Looked at me briefly, but it was like he was looking straight through me, like he didn't even see me standing there. And so he kept walking off through the field," Younce said.

The crash knocked out power to more than 1,500 homes and businesses powered by Consumers Energy.

Haddix's son came to check on his mother after hearing of the crash and having his power go out.

"He said, 'Be careful' because they couldn't find one person," Haddix said.

The driver ended up wandering from the crash scene to Younce's property.

"He was found in my shed, just back here," Younce said.

Doctors say if troopers hadn't found him when they did, the driver likely would not have made it.

Younce has already spoken to his three kids about not drinking and driving, and plans to spend more time on the topic soon.

"You see a car crumpled like that, it really hits home," Younce said. "I thought I was OK until I looked at the pictures. I said, 'Oh my goodness, it was as bad as I thought'. So I'm still kind of processing all of it."

State Police have not released the names of the 18 year olds involved, but they have told us the driver was listed in critical condition, while the passenger was stable condition.

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