Semi crashes into Lane Automotive in Watervliet

·        Date and Time of Incident:         02:48  6/15/17

·        Type of Incident:                          Property Damage Accident / Semi v. Building

·        Location of Incident:                    Lane Automotive, 8300 Lane Drive, Watervliet, MI

On 06-15-2017 at 0248 hours the Berrien County 911 Dispatch reported a call for service for a semi-tractor trailer hitting the building at Lane Automotive located at 8300 Lane Drive, in Watervliet Township.  Responding units were advised that the semi left the roadway of Eastbound I-94 near the 41 mile marker and crashed into the building.  An employee of Lane Automotive made contact with the driver of the semi-truck and assisted him from the semi, a passenger was also in the semi sleeping at the time of the accident.   

     The driver and passenger were transported to Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph to be treated for minor injuries.    An on scene investigation finds that the driver could have possibly fallen asleep while driving causing him to leave the roadway and strike the building.  Alcohol use was not detected during the investigation. 

     The driver was identified as a 31 year old male from Orlando Florida, and the passenger was a 40 year old male from Hollywood Florida.  The carrier was US Express Inc from Chattanooga, TN.  The driver was cited for careless driving. 

      An unknown dollar amount of structural damage and water damage was caused to the building as a result of the accident.  The accident ruptured the fire suppression waterlines that flooded a  major area of office space, causing damage to computers and other electronics. 

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department was assisted by the Pokagon Tribal Police, Watervliet City Police, Coloma Township Police Department, Michigan State Police, Watervliet Township Fire Department, Medic 1 Ambulance Service and Pride Care Ambulance Service.