McBain woman still in critical condition after Thursday crash

Cadillac Fire Department firefighters assess the site of a vehicle accident involving a semi-truck and U.S. Postal Delivery truck on the corner of M-115 and Mackinaw Trail Thursday, Sept. 23 in this Cadillac News file photo.

CADILLAC — There was little new information Monday regarding a crash last week that sent two people to the hospital, including a 55-year-old McBain woman.

Michigan State Police Seventh District Public Information Officer Lt. Derrick Carroll said Leah Marie Tibbs remained in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.

Tibbs’ injuries stemmed from her involvement with a two-vehicle crash that occurred at 3:18 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, on M-115 near South Mackinaw Trail in Clam Lake Township. The MSP reported that a trooper and the motor carrier officer were the first to be dispatched.

The initial investigation indicated a semitrailer driven by a 60-year-old Hersey man was traveling southeast on M-115, while Tibb’s United States Postal Service truck also was traveling southeast on M-115. Tibbs, however, was traveling on the shoulder. Surveillance footage shows Tibbs attempted a U-turn on M-115 and pulled out in front of the semi-truck, police said.

As a result of the collision, police said both vehicles caught fire.

Tibbs was airlifted to the Traverse City hospital, while the Hersey man was taken to Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital for treatment of his injuries. It was reported Friday that he was treated and released.

It was first reported that the two-vehicle crash Tibbs was involved in with a semitrailer driven by the Hersey man resulted in her death, but later it was revealed she was alive.

Early on the morning of Friday, Sept. 24, however, a new press release from the Michigan State Police was distributed stating Tibbs had succumbed to her injuries. That was soon refuted when family members said the contrary.

Last week, Carroll said when the crash was first reported it was called out as a fatal crash, which shortly afterward was corrected because Tibbs was still alive when she was transported from the scene.

As for the second report that Tibbs had died, Carroll said that information had been passed on to police erroneously and the proper adjustments had been made.

He said police are dealing with finding a balance of getting information out as soon as possible and ensuring the information is 100% accurate in the age of immediate news access. The alternative would be not getting any information out until the information is complete.

Carroll said Monday the crash investigation remains open.

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