Police describe what caused 6-vehicle crash that left 2 dead, 2 hurt on I-696 in Oakland County

MSP says semi truck rear-ended car, causing chain reaction

Police revealed what happened during a six-vehicle chain reaction crash that left two people dead and two others injured Thursday on I-696 in Oakland County. Officials said the crash happened around 10:15 a.m. Thursday (June 23) on westbound I-696 near Orchard Lake Road.

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – Police revealed what happened during a six-vehicle chain reaction crash that left two people dead and two others injured Thursday on I-696 in Oakland County.

Officials said the crash happened around 10:15 a.m. Thursday (June 23) on westbound I-696 near Orchard Lake Road. The road was reopened around 6 p.m. Thursday.

What caused fatal crash

A semi truck driven by a 57-year-old was heading west on I-696 toward I-96 and couldn’t stop for traffic, according to authorities. The semi rear-ended a Buick LaCrosse, police said.

The collision caused a chain reaction that led to three other vehicles being struck, according to officials.

The scene of a June 23, 2022, crash on I-696 in Oakland County. (WDIV)

During their investigation, Michigan State Police said they realized that another vehicle had been struck -- possibly another semi. That vehicle will likely have blue lettering and passenger side damage, troopers said. The driver might not realize their vehicle was involved, they said.

The driver and passenger of the LaCrosse were killed, police said. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Two other drivers were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening at this time, according to officials.

I-696 traffic

Westbound I-696 is currently shut down, and traffic is exiting at Orchard Lake Road, police said.

“The freeway will remain closed for several hours as the investigation continues,” state police tweeted at 1:59 p.m. Thursday. “Please avoid the area. There is only one exit before the crash scene and it takes considerable time to get traffic off the freeway.”

Anyone who witnessed the crash and has not yet talked to troopers is asked to call 248-584-5740.

The traffic backup due to a June 23, 2022, crash on I-696 in Oakland County. (WDIV)
Police revealed what happened during a six-vehicle chain reaction crash that left two people dead and two others injured Thursday on I-696 in Oakland County. Officials said the crash happened around 10:15 a.m. Thursday (June 23) on westbound I-696 near Orchard Lake Road.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.