An investigation continued Monday night into a deadly three-car accident late Sunday near 12 Mile and Greenfield roads.
An man was killed and two others were hurt Sunday night after a vehicle traveling west on 12 Mile Road struck another westbound vehicle, pushing it across Greenfield Road, where a third vehicle traveling eastbound also was hit, Deputy Director Robert North said Monday.
The driver of the vehicle that initially was struck died, and the person's identity was being confirmed through dental records, North said Monday night. The other two drivers' names were not being released because of the ongoing investigation, he said.
Southfield fire and police officials helped extinguish a fire that erupted after the first car – in which the driver died – was struck from behind, North said.
The two surviving motorists were transported to William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, by Alliance Mobile Health, he said.
Southfield resident Harry Hovakimian was passing through the area shortly after the crash and observed the wreckage.
"I was driving by and, a couple blocks before this, I heard a … sound like a bang," he said. "As I got closer to the intersection, I saw a huge ball of fire."
Firefighters already were on the scene and ambulances were arriving, Hovakimian said.
"I (saw) all the horror in reality that we usually see in the movies," he said. "I heard the … sounds and smelled the fire."
Hovakimian said the experience saddened him deeply, as he was unsure whether anyone was trapped in the fiery wreckage.
"I really admire the firefighters," he said. "They were heroes. They were so close to the fire."
One search warrant has been obtained and another is being sought as part of the investigation, North said. The Michigan State Police will join Berkley Public Safety in the investigation, he said.
"We believe, initially, that speed was a factor," North said.
The intersection was closed and traffic was rerouted as law enforcement and emergency personnel spent a chilly, rainy night at the scene. The intersection was reopened before the morning commute and traffic flowed freely Monday, with little indication of the fiery tragedy that occurred the previous night.
Check back with Berkley Patch for more information as it becomes available.