Dangerous intersection claims another life

FLINT TWP. — A 15-year-old girl from Durand was died following a crash at the intersection of S. Dye Rd and W. Court St., April 1.

According to a police report, township police responded at approximately 3:24 p.m., to reports of an accident involving four vehicles — a pickup truck, a minivan, and 2 sedans. Taylor Elizabeth Kerckaert , 15, a sophomore at Swartz Creek High School, was a passenger in the minivan. She died as a result of her injuries.

Other occupants of the minivan were transported by ambulance to an area hospital.

The driver of the minivan, a 43-year-old female from Durand, is currently listed in serious condition. The remaining passengers of the minivan, an 18-year-old male from Flint Township, and a 9-year-old male from Durand, were uninjured. The driver of the pickup truck, a 27-yearold male from Brighton, also was not injured. The occupants of the sedans were also uninjured. Alcohol did not appear to be a factor but the cause of the crash remains under investigation. The Flint Township Police Department is requesting anyone that may have witnessed the crash to contact Sergeant Frank Hartner or Detective Hart at 810- 600-3250. At press time on Tuesday, township police had not released the victim’s name but other sources have identified her as Taylor Elizabeth Kerckaert, who was a sophomore at Swartz Creek High School.

Funeral arrangements are pending, according to an obituary posted online by Muir Brothers funeral home in Lapeer.

According to the obit, Taylor was born June 28, 2000 in Lapeer to Kevin and Kathleen (McKinney) Kerckaert. At Swartz Creek High School, she was active in Art Club and described by classmates as talented, funny and “a beautiful person inside and out.” A gifted and passionate musician, she played many instruments including the guitar, piano and drums as well as winning the Teen Idol Contest two years in a row. She was friendly and outgoing – traits that were show cased whenever she performed her music. She was a beautiful girl, who had an amazing love for her family.

Taylor is survived by her parents: Kevin Kerckaert of Lapeer and Kathleen “Kathy” Kerckaert of Durand; brother, Konner Kerckaert of Durand; sister, Kaitlynn Morris of Lapeer; grandparents: Edward and Barb Kerckaert of Lapeer and Norm and Kathy McKinney of Lapeer, and. many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. Taylor was preceded in death by her grandmother, Ann Marie McKinney; great grandparents: Zola & Bud Reamer, Ann & Jim Hervey, Harry Kerckaert and Mary & Ray Rosniak.

Taylor was the second fatality in the past six years resulting from a car accident at the intersection of Court and Dye. A fatal crash at the intersection in 2010 was a primary reason it was chosen by the Genesee County Road Commission for a traffic roundabout. Accident statistics including the 2010 fatality and 28 other minor crashes between 2006-10 qualified the intersection for federal safety funding,

Road Commission officials quoted research showing that roundabouts lead to a 40 percent reduction in crash frequency, an 80 percent reduction in crash injuries and a 90 percent reduction in fatalities at intersections converted to roundabouts from four-way stop signs.

Plans for the roundabout eventually were “postponed indefinitely” because funds were no longer available, road commission officials said. Initially the road commission had planned to build the roundabout despite a strong outpouring of protests from residents during a township public hearing in October 2012 and the township board voting not to help pay for the project.

The intersection still has four-way stop signs, a flashing light and warning signs on the approach to the intersection.

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