LINWOOD – Michigan State Police (MSP) Tri-City troopers are investigating a two-vehicle traffic crash which occurred on Jan. 29, and resulted in the death of a Whittemore resident.

According to the MSP, it was at approximately 7:10 p.m. when Bay County Central Dispatch put out a broadcast of a wrong-way driver on I-75, traveling south in the northbound lanes.

The driver was reportedly entering Bay County from Arenac County.

Bay County Deputies were in the area and located a 2006 GMC Envoy traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-75, south of Coggins Road. Responding officers paralleled the driver, attempting to stop the vehicle.

According to police, a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer was traveling north on I-75, heading to Lewiston, at about 7:22 p.m.

Unaware of the wrong-way driver, the conservation officer – operating a 2015 Chevrolet pick-up patrol vehicle – was struck head-on.

Authorities note that the wrong-way driver – Thomas Barylski, 71, Whittemore – was deceased at the scene.

The conservation officer was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, and has since been released and sent home.

An MSP crash reconstructionist is assisting with the investigation, which is ongoing and is pending autopsy, toxicology and reconstruction reports.  

Troopers were also assisted on the scene by Bay County Deputies, Pinconning-Fraser Fire/Rescue, the Michigan DNR, Northern Bay Ambulance and McLaren Bay Region Ambulance.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact MSP troopers at 989-439-2590.