NEW BUFFALO — The driver of a semi-tractor trailer died when the rig veered off the west-bound lanes of Interstate 94 near Exit 1 in New Buffalo Township on Friday morning, Oct. 11.
According to a Berrien County Sheriff's Department press release, Berrien County Public Safety dispatch received 911 calls of a traffic crash involving a semi-tractor trailer at 8:55 a.m.
"Upon arrival, first responders found the semi-truck engulfed in flames and were unable to get to the driver. Investigators learned through witness interviews that the semi-truck had struck a guardrail before running off the roadway eventually striking a tree bursting into flames. It is unknown at this time if the driver suffered some type of mechanical issue or possibly a medical emergency causing him to run off the roadway."
Police reported that the driver, and only occupant of the vehicle, later identified as 65-year-old David Monroe of Holt, was found deceased inside the truck and was transported to the WMU Homer Stryker School of Medicine in Kalamazoo where an autopsy will be conducted to confirm identity and cause of death.
The truck is registered to Nationwide Truck Brokers of Byron Center, Michigan, and was hauling clothing for Meijer to Wisconsin. The crash is being investigated by the Berrien County Sheriff’s accident investigation unit.
Responding agencies included: The Berrien County Sheriff road patrol, Pokagon Tribal Police, New Buffalo City Police, New Buffalo Township and Chikaming Township Fire, and Medic 1 Ambulance.