CHASSELL TOWNSHIP — The Houghton County Sheriff’s Department investigated a four-vehicle personal injury accident with fatalities on February 3rd at 10:00 a.m. The accident occurred on US-41 at the Sturgeon Bay River Bridge in Chassell Township.
A semi tractor-trailer hauling diesel fuel and gasoline from Green Bay was traveling northbound on US-41. A Toyota RAV, driven by 40 year-old Jennifer Jennings-Shaud of L’Anse, attempted to pass the fuel truck and lost control on the ice-covered road. Jennings-Shaud’s son, Ephraim, age 9, was also in the vehicle.
The Toyota then struck a southbound Honda CRV with a single occupant, 45 year-old Christina Juntunen of Hubbell. The Toyota and the Honda collided head-on, pushing the Honda into the northbound lane and into the path of the fuel truck. The fuel truck hit the Honda on the driver’s side. Juntunen was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another southbound vehicle was traveling in the crash zone and was hit as well. Forty year-old Eric Trapp of Hancock was driving an Audi with two passengers: 43 year-old Amanda Galetto and her son, 12 year-old Brady Galetto, both of Hancock. None of the occupants in the Audi sustained any injuries from the accident.
Jennings-Shaud and her son were treated at the scene by Chassell Township First Responders and Mercy Ambulance personnel. They were both transported to Portage Health Systems Hospital in Hancock. Jennings-Shaud was later transported to UPHS – Marquette for further treatment.
The driver of the fuel truck, 50 year-old David Hooper of Green Bay, was uninjured during the accident. The fuel tank was punctured in the accident.
Due to the large fuel spill from the tanker truck, a large response was required at the scene of the accident. The Chassell Fire Department and First Responders, Hurontown Fire Department, who used the jaws of life, Calumet Fire and Rescue for fuel containment, Ironwood Public Safety Fire and Rescue containment unit, Mercy Ambulance, Lake Linden Police Department, Michigan State Police, Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Unit from Iron Mountain, U.S. Coast Guard containment unit, Houghton County Emergency Measures, Superior Service Wrecker, Gregg’s Wrecker Service from Ironwood, Michigan Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Agency, Michigan DEQ and several volunteers all assisted at the scene. An environmental clean up team from Bark River are cleaning up the scene.
The accident remains under investigation. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash and all occupants were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
US-41 was opened to one lane at approximately 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and is controlled at this time by MDOT temporary traffic lights.