2 Dead After Set of Tires Comes Off Truck, Hitting Car

A 34-year-old man from Chicago died Sunday afternoon in Michigan


Two Illinois residents died after a set of tires on a semi-truck came loose along Interstate 94 in southwestern Michigan, striking a car with three people inside who were heading to a wedding, authorities and friends said. 

The Portage Department of Public Safety said the car's 67-year-old backseat passenger, Rebecca Avery of Glenview, died at the scene of the Saturday crash. Her 34-year-old son-in-law, Michael Ditewig of Chicago, died Sunday afternoon at a hospital in Kalamazoo.

Ditewig was driving. His wife, Cynthia, was in the front seat and had what were described by authorities as non-life-threatening injuries.

"When you think of what she had to go through -- she looked in the back seat and saw her mother and then she had to witness her husband passing away a day later -- I think that's just very tough to deal with," said Jim Wilson, a long-time family friend and neighbor.

Investigators said Ditewig was heading east on the interstate in Portage when the car was struck by the westbound truck's wheel and tire assembly, which went over the median into the eastbound lanes.

Authorities said Monday the crash remained under investigation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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