Woman dies after vehicle crashes, catches fire

BAY MILLS TOWNSHIP — One woman is dead after a car accident resulted in her vehicle catching fire in Bay Mills Township Tuesday night.

Deputies from the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office say they were called to the scene on Lakeshore Drive east of Ranger Road shortly after 10:30 p.m. 69-year-old Rita Ann Sayles of McNearny Lake had missed a turn in the road and hit several trees. The vehicle caught fire with Sayles trapped inside.

Police were told that several citizens stopped and tried to get Sayles out of the vehicle. They broke the side windows, cut the seat belt, and attempted to extinguish the fire while trying to pull Sayles out of the car. Police say that the attempts were unsuccessful as the car became engulfed in flames. Extensive damage and extreme heat prevented Sayles from being extricated in time.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Bay Mills Fire Department, Bay Mills Police Department, and the U.S. Border Patrol. An accident investigator was also called out to investigate the scene.

Sheriff’s deputies would like to extend thanks and commendation to citizens who came forward to try to help Sayles.