Investigation continues into crash that killed family as safety of intersection reviewed

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Jackson County authorities continue to investigate what caused a deadly car crash and look into the safety of the intersection where it happened.

The crash killed a 26-year-old mother and her two young children Thursday afternoon.

The woman has been identified as Autumn Coffey of Pleasant Lake.

Her daughter, 4-year-old Kahlan Jones, and son, 1-year-old Eli Jones, were both killed.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says Coffey ran a stop sign at the intersection of McCain and Dearing roads in Spring Arbor Township.

Deputies say that resulted in Coffey’s Saturn minivan getting hit by a Ford pickup truck.

While the community grieves this loss, a lot of people are questioning the safety of that intersection.

6 News spoke with Jackson County officials about what’s being done following this deadly crash.

Jackson County Undersheriff Chris Kuhl says investigators still have a lot of questions about what happened, especially if the children were properly restrained.

“And any other physical evidence in the car may give us clues as far as what happened both in the moments leading up to the crash and then of course, post impact,” said Undersheriff Kuhl.

While this is known to be a busy intersection, authorities don’t believe that was a factor.

“I think a lot of times, people want to look to road design as the potential issue when in reality there are a lot of factors coming together,” said Undersheriff Kuhl.

The Jackson County Department of Transportation calls the crash a terrible tragedy and says they’re doing everything they can to make the intersection safer.

According to JDOT, the intersection of Dearing and McCain 31st in the county for traffic crashes.

The road department had an emergency meeting Friday to review the crash.

“The way the intersection is right now, it exceeds requirements. But we don’t stop there. We will do whatever is needed to improve driver awareness. In some cases, flashing lights, increasing the number of signs, we’re looking at those options right now,” said JDOT Managing Director Christopher Bolt.

It’s a crash that has emotionally impacted the entire community, including county officials.

“Our entire team, we’re saddened today. We’ve canceled a variety of events in order to make time for reviewing this particular situation. We take this very hard,” Bolt said.

Undersheriff Kuhl says support is being provided for first responders who are having a tough time dealing with the crash.

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