Four pickup trucks collide at U.P. intersection

MARQUETTE – Two of nine people involved in a four-vehicle crash in Sands Township Wednesday remain at Marquette General Hospital, according to the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department.

Steven Wallenius, 57, and Phyllis Wallenius, 58, both of Alpena, Mich., are under observation following treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

The seven other individuals, including four children between ages 4 and 11, were treated and released from Marquette General Hospital.

The crash, involving four pick-up trucks, occurred at 4:20 p.m. at the intersection of M-553 and Flodin Road, according to the sheriff’s department.

Deputies said two trucks, a Ford F-150 and GMC Sierra, were stopped in the southbound left lanes of M-553 attempting to turn left on Flodin Road. A third truck, a Chevrolet pick-up, was approaching from the rear and failed to stop, striking the F-150 from behind.

Due to the force of the crash, the F-150 struck the Sierra, crossed the southbound lanes, and came to rest in the ditch. The Sierra was forced into the northbound lane of M-553, then struck and overturned another Sierra with an attached trailer hauling scrap metal.

Deputies said the driver of the Chevrolet which caused the crash is Justin Sleeter, 26, of Ishpeming. He was cited for careless driving and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

The first Sierra was driven by Dan Keller, 61, of Gwinn, and the Sierra with the trailer was driven by Bart Olsen, 67, of Marquette. The four children were passengers in the F-150, driven by Steven Wallenius.

According to the sheriff’s department, all drivers and passengers wore safety belts and alcohol was not a factor in the crash. M-553 had to be closed for about an hour.

The sheriff’s department was assisted by the Forsyth Township Police Department, Michigan State Police, Sands Township Fire Department and EMS, Chocolay Township Fire Department, Forsyth Township EMS, Marquette County Rescue 131, and Marquette General Hospital EMS.