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Published: Friday, 8/8/2008

Power lines that caused crash probed by DTE

DUNDEE, Mich. DTE Energy said yesterday it will investigate why power lines fell across U.S. 23 on Wednesday, leading to a traffic accident that killed a 79-year-old Florida man and critically injured his wife.

James C. Weekley of Placida, Fla., was declared dead at Toledo Hospital, where he was flown from the Dundee Township crash scene.

Hazel M. Weekley, 76, a passenger in the car, remained in critical condition last night in Toledo Hospital.

Mr. Weekley was northbound on U.S. 23 near M-50 about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday when he struck the rear of a tractor-trailer that stopped suddenly to avoid a fallen wire, according to the Michigan State Police.

The utility said after the crash that an excessively tall vehicle yanked down the wire over U.S. 23, but a police report mentioned no such vehicle. The utility will conduct an internal investigation, DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons said.

U.S. 23 was closed for nearly three hours because of the fatal crash and two earlier, minor accidents also blamed on the wire.

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