AuSABLE Twp. – A two-vehicle crash in AuSable Township has left one man with severe injuries and, as of press time, authorities say he remains in a coma.
According to the Oscoda Township Police Department (OTPD), the collision occurred at 4:46 p.m. on Dec. 23, 2019.
They report that Oscoda resident Preston Matthew Bullard, 21, was traveling south on US-23, near Point Road. His passenger was Jesse Christopher Howe, 24, also of Oscoda.
Driving in this area at the same time was Ellen Marie Pardington, 57, Lapeer.
The OTPD states that both vehicles were in the right lane of travel. Bullard, operating a Nissan Sentra, was said to have exited the lane to the left. It is unknown whether he did so to pass the other vehicle, or if it was due to loss of control.
Bullard then struck Pardington, who was driving a Chevrolet Trax. Police report that Bullard corrected, then hit the other vehicle a second time. From here, he went off the roadway to the left and struck a tree.
Police say Pardington was unharmed, while Howe experienced possible injuries.
Bullard, however, was trapped in the vehicle and sustained incapacitating injuries.
As noted in the OTPD case report, officers were dispatched to the scene for a personal injury accident. Upon arrival, they observed the vehicle driven by Pardington parked on the southbound shoulder, with damage to the driver’s side. Pardington was seen near her vehicle, and appeared to be physically unharmed.
The car operated by Bullard – who reportedly was not wearing a seat belt – was found resting off of the northbound shoulder near a tree, with heavy damage.
He was still in the driver’s seat, and an OTPD officer observed Bullard to be unconscious, with a broken arm and severe lacerations to his face and leg.
The officer, along with a bystander, provided limited medical care to Bullard while waiting for Iosco County EMS to arrive.
Upon the arrival of EMS personnel, Bullard was transported to Ascension St. Joseph Hospital in Tawas City for treatment. He was evaluated at the facility, and then flown by helicopter to Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital of Saginaw. He was then transferred by helicopter to William Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak, for further treatment of his injuries.
The OTPD states that Howe had no obvious physical injuries, and was transported to Ascension St. Joseph Hospital for evaluation.
According to police, Howe advised that while traveling south on US-23, Bullard had a loss of control of the car. He struck the vehicle driven by Pardington and crossed the northbound lanes, before leaving the roadway and hitting a tree.
The series of events was corroborated by Pardington, who told police that when she and Bullard entered the passing lane area of US-23, Bullard stayed behind her.
Pardington said that as they traveled through the passing lanes, she felt an impact to the rear of her vehicle. She then observed the other car come along the driver’s side of her vehicle, and she was hit again. Following the second impact, she witnessed Bullard leave the roadway and strike a tree.
Neither drugs nor alcohol are thought to be contributing factors to the incident.
OTPD officers were assisted on the scene by the Michigan State Police and Oscoda Township Fire Department.