UPDATE: Names released in Sands Township accident

UPDATE: Thursday, 9:40 a.m.

The Marquette County Sheriff’s Department has released the names of the adults involved in the accident that closed M-553 for about an hour late Wednesday afternoon.

Justin Sleeter, 26, of Ishpeming was driving the 2003 Chevy pickup truck that caused the crash. Steven Wallenius, 57, of Alpena was driving a 2012 Ford F-150 that was stopped on M-553 waiting to turn left onto Flodin Road. Wallenius’s wife, Phyllis Wallenius, 58, and four children ranging in age from four to 11 years old were passengers in his truck.

Dan Keller, 61, of Gwinn was driving the other stopped truck, a 2001 GMC Sierra.

Bart Olsen, 67, of Marquette was driving the northbound truck towing a trailer. That truck was another 2001 GMC Sierra.

Steven and Phyllis Wallenius were admitted to Marquette General for observation. All other drivers and passengers were treated at Marquette General and released.

The Sheriff’s Department says everyone was wearing a seat belt and that alcohol use was not a factor in the accident.

Update: 8:30 p.m.

Nine people–including four children–were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries after a four vehicle accident in Marquette County Wednesday afternoon.

The accident happened on M-553 at the intersection of Flodin Road in Sands Township around 4:20 p.m.

Marquette County Sheriff’s Office says the four vehicles involved were pick-up trucks.

The preliminary investigation reveals two trucks were stopped in the southbound left lanes on M-553 attempting to turn left onto Flodin Road. Another southbound pick-up truck approached the stopped trucks and failed to stop, hitting one truck and forcing that truck into the first truck.

The first truck crossed the southbound lanes and came to a rest in the ditch on the west side of the highway. The second truck was forced into the northbound lane, forcing it into the path of a truck hauling scrap metal. That truck and trailer overturned, coming to rest on the shoulder.

The vehicle that caused the crash ended up on the southeast shoulder of the intersection. That driver was cited for careless driving and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

M-553 was closed for about an hour.

The Forsyth Township Police Department, Michigan State Police, Sands Township Fire and EMS, Chocolay Township Fire Department, Forsyth Township EMS, Marquette County Rescue 131, and Marquette General EMS assisted on the scene.

The accident remains under investigation.


Nine people were injured in a five-car accident in Sands Township this afternoon.five car ax

Officials say they got the call around 4:30 p.m. When emergency responders arrived on scene, they found debris scattered on the side of M-553 near Youngs Road. One person had to be extricated from a vehicle and taken to Marquette General Hospital for treatment, along with all of the other parties involved. No word on how badly they were hurt.

Sands Township Fire crews are still trying to piece together exactly what happened. At least three ambulances from multiple agencies assisted on the scene. More information will be released as it becomes available.