Crash injures three

MANISTIQUE – Police are still investigating a crash involving a semi and mini van west of Manistique that sent three people to the hospital Sunday afternoon.

State Police from the St. Ignace Post were called to investigate a traffic crash on U.S. 2 just west of Manistique at approximately 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

The mini van driven by 18-year-old Austin Balfany, of Minneapolis, Minn., was eastbound when it crossed the centerline near the entrance to Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital and was struck by a westbound semi truck.

The semi was driven by 69-year-old David Church of Detour Village. The mini van rolled over several times before coming to rest in a ditch, and the semi ran off the roadway.

Balfany was pinned in the wreckage of the overturned vehicle. Manistique Public Safety Officers extricated Balfany and he and his two passengers were transported by Manistique Public Safety EMS to Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Balfany and his passenger, 18-year-old Stephanie Fischbach of Blaine, Minn., were transfered to Marquette General Hospital. Fischbach was treated and released. Balfany remains in serious condition. The name of the third passenger in the mini van was unavailable this morning.

Church was the lone occupant of the semi and was not injured in the crash. U.S. 2 was shut down for a brief period while the semi was being removed from the scene.

The crash remains under investigation, and alcohol is not believed to be a factor. Assisting at the scene were Manistique Public Safety and EMS, Thompson Township Volunteer Fire Department, Schoolcraft County Sheriff’s Department, DNR, and staff from nearby Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital.