Fatal crash highlights concerns about busy road in Jackson County


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s been two days since a motorcyclist was killed in a head on collision in Jackson County.

And now neighbors who live along Moscow Road say this has been an increasingly dangerous stretch of road for years.

Owning a salon on Moscow Road for 38 years, Robbin Peterman has seen a lot of hair styles come and go.

But one thing she can always count on is increasing traffic outside her business.

“As we’ve all built up more, there’s a lot more congestion in this little strip,” said Peterman, the owner of Robbin’s Creative Images.

Moscow Road connects M-60 in Spring Arbor to U.S. 12 in Hillsdale County.

It’s a narrow two lane road with lots of trees and hills that people use as a highway to cut across big sections of the county.

That often results in speeding and not following traffic rules.

Sitting on his front porch with his dog and watching the cars go by on Moscow Road, Billy Thompson says he often sees dangerous driving.

“I was kind of disappointed when I realized the speed they run this road,” Thompson said.

Monday morning in front of Thompson’s house, authorities say a 29-year-old motorcyclist was killed when he tried to pass one car and slammed into another car head-on.

Thompson says he feared a crash like this was just a matter of time.

“Oh yeah, I’ve been concerned about that,” Thompson said.

The latest data from Michigan State Police shows 79 calls for service to Moscow Road in 2015, and 100 in 2016.

The majority of calls to authorities concerned drivers having car trouble; however there are dozens of reports of rear ends and crashes from drivers trying to pass other vehicles.

According to the data, 17 people were injured in auto-related incidents on the road in 2015, and 15 people were injured in 2016.

There was one fatality in 2015 from a rear end crash near Coats Road in Hanover Township.

2016 did not have any reported fatalities.

The Spring Arbor Police Department says while the road itself is not to blame, they have noticed an increase in drivers and speed.

Chief Russ Ratkiewicz says officers will continue to do speed enforcement, but it’s up to drivers to be aware of their surroundings and go the speed limit.

“People need to use a little bit of common sense,” Thompson said.

Those who live and work along Moscow Road are also staying vigilant.

“I call kind of on a regular basis when I see a lot of people just flying through here,” Peterman said.

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