Woman dead after crash involving novelty vehicle in Lapeer Township

Novelty vehicle heading to Metamora Country Days Parade collides with woman's car

Photo courtesy of the Lapeer County Sheriff's Office.
Photo courtesy of the Lapeer County Sheriff's Office.

LAPEER TOWNSHIP, Mich. – An 80-year-old woman is dead after a crash involving a novelty vehicle on its way to a parade and festival, according to the Lapeer County Sheriff's Office.

The accident happened Saturday at Clark and Turrill roads in Lapeer Township. The collision is considered broadsided, deputies said.

Jeanette Rumptz was driving a Subaru Outback eastbound on Turrill Road. Deputies said Rumptz stopped for the stop sign and entered the intersection while performing a left turn to travel northbound on Clark Road.

Rumptz entered the travel path of a specialized novelty vehicle used in parades -- a truck converted to look like a steam train -- traveling southbound on Clark Road.

The novelty vehicle was traveling to Metamora for the Metamora Country Days Parade. Deputies said the vehicle is powered by a motor not pulling a trailer and had an unenclosed area in the back that consisted of wood benches with no safety restraints for passengers on board.

There were ten people that suffered injuries while traveling within the novelty vehicle driven by 83-year-old Gerald Butterfield, of Columbiaville. Deputies said seven people were ejected from the unenclosed area in the back of the vehicle.

Rumptz was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The passengers of the novelty vehicle were taken to McLaren-Lapeer Region Medical Center in Lapeer and Hurley Medical Center in Flint. Deputies said two adults suffered life-threatening injuries, were ejected from the vehicle and are in serious condition.

There were two children, ages 8 and 9, that were treated and released for non-life-threatening injuries, deputies said.

The intersection was closed for three hours for rescue and investigative purposes.

Neither alcohol nor excessive speed appears to be contributing factors, according to the Sheriff's Office. The crash remains under investigation by the Lapeer Township Police Department and Lapeer County Sheriff's Office.

Anyone who witnessed or has information about this incident is asked to call Lapeer County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Jason Parks at 810-245-1381.