ST. JOSEPH — An Illinois man died in a Monday morning crash along I-94 in Royalton Township.
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is reporting the fatal crash, which occurred around 6 a.m., involved a 2013 Chrysler van and a 2002 Jeep Liberty on the bridge over the St. Joseph River, near Exit 27.
Myles Ullenbrauck, 56, of Skokie, Ill. – who was behind the wheel of the van – was pronounced dead Monday. Investigators said neither driver was wearing a seat belt.
The crash occurred between the Niles Road and Scottdale Road exits.
The crash closed the eastbound lanes of I-94 for nearly three hours, backing up traffic for miles. Police officers were then stationed at adjoining exits, where they steered traffic through intersections in an attempt to clear the highway.
Royalton Township Fire Chief James Jonatzke said eastbound traffic was rerouted off Exit 27 to Scottdale Road, then back to the highway via Exit 28.
“It was a bad accident. It started at one end of the bridge and continued all the way eastbound to the other side of the bridge,” Jonatzke said.” There are skid marks that go from one end of the bridge to another. That’s close to a quarter mile.”
St. Joseph resident Stephen Byers, 29, the driver of the Jeep, was taken to Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph. Jonatzke said Byers sustained significant injuries.
The sheriff department’s reconstruction unit was also brought on scene. The case is still being investigated, and no cause for the crash has been released by police.
Assisting the sheriff’s department was the Royalton Fire Department, Lincoln Township and St. Joseph Township police and Medic 1.
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