LAPEER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (TheBlaze/AP) — A car struck a parade vehicle Saturday in rural Michigan, killing the 80-year-old woman behind the wheel of the car and injuring 10 aboard the parade vehicle, authorities said.
Jeanette Rumptz of Metamora Township died at the scene after she turned her car left and into the truck that had been converted to resemble a steam locomotive, Lapeer County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Jason Parks told The Associated Press.
Of the 10 people in the parade truck, Parks said two were children who sustained minor injuries. Seven people were ejected from an area in the back of the vehicle that was not enclosed and has wooden benches but no safety restraints.
All the adult passengers of the parade vehicle were veterans, WJRT-TV in Flint noted. Two of the adult passengers have life-threatening injuries at a nearby hospital, Parks said.
The specialty vehicle commonly appears in local parades and belongs to the Lapeer chapter of La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux, known in English as The Society of 40 Men and 8 Horses. The veterans’ organization was founded by U.S. soldiers returning from France after World War I and was originally part of the American Legion.
Neither excessive speed nor alcohol appeared to contribute to the crash, officials said. Parks noted that Rumptz obeyed a stop sign at the intersection and it’s not clear why she continued to drive into the path of the oncoming parade vehicle.
The parade truck was heading to the Metamora Country Days parade about five miles away. Parks said the vehicle is legal for use on the road.
The accident happened about 60 miles northwest of Detroit.