CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Gratiot Avenue was shut down in both directions Friday afternoon in Chesterfield Township due to a serious crash involving two SUVs.
Chesterfield Township police say witnesses said the driver of the Jeep appeared to be in "some type of road rage" with the driver of a Ford F-250. The vehicles were traveling northbound on Gratiot Avenue when the Jeep swerved into the southbound lanes and collided head-on with a GMC Jimmy.
An 18-year-old Macomb Township man was driving the Jeep. A 63-year-old Macomb Township man was driving the GMC with his wife and son as passengers.
Everyone was taken to McLaren Macomb Hospital where the driver of the GMC is in critical condition. He suffered the most serious injuries.
The driver of the F-250, which was not involved in the collision, was identified at his home in Chesterfield Township.
Elmar Stewart said looking at his family's mangled GMC Jimmy it's hard to believe anyone survived.
"I still can't believe that's someone I know. My family was in that car," said Stewart. "It's a shame, unnecessary. The three of them are new to the country."
Stewart's uncle and aunt, Teddy and Delora Gomez, along with their son, Ted, moved to the U.S. from the Philippines a year ago.
"They're hard-working people. They just wanted to have an honest chance. They got it," said Stewart. "They wake up early every day. The three of them work and all go at the same time. It was a routine."
But Friday afternoon that routine took a disastrous, unexpected turn. They were leaving their job at Motor City Stamping on Gratiot in Chesterfield Township when the incident happened.
"Everyone has days like that but I don't think they consider how it will affect other people," said Stewart. "My uncle and aunt are getting operated on. They suffered severe damages. My cousin, we spoke with him before we left. He looks pretty banged up to."
Police continue to investigate this crash. Anyone with information on it should contact Chesterfield Township police at 586-949-2322.