The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

One dead in Bessemer accident


July 13, 2018

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

MICHIGAN STATE Police from the Wakefield Post assist the Gogebic County Sheriff's Department Thursday around 6 p.m. in reconstructing a fatal crash on U.S. 2 in Bessemer. The damaged vehicle in the middle appeared to have been struck in the rear end.


Bessemer - One person was killed and two were injured in a Thursday afternoon accident in the city of Bessemer that closed U.S. 2 for more than four hours.

Gogebic County Sheriff Peter Matonich said a 41-year-old Wakefield man, Rex Robert Smith, was traveling east near Fairview Drive when he lost control of his vehicle and it spun into the westbound lanes of the highway.

It collided with a vehicle driven by Alvin Liikanen, 86, of Ironwood.

Liikanen and a passenger in his vehicle, 87-year-old Barbara Liikanen, were transported to nearby Aspirus Ironwood Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the sheriff's department.

Smith was extricated from his vehicle by the city of Bessemer Fire Department. He was also transported to the hospital, but later pronounced dead, according to the news release.

Speed and reckless driving were cited as factors in the crash. Weather was not a factor.

Michigan State Police advanced accident investigators from the Wakefield Post were called to the scene and U.S. 2 was closed until 6:20 p.m., with detour routes in effect.

The accident was reported at 1:49 p.m.

Beacon Ambulance, the City of Bessemer Fire Department, Ironwood Public Safety Department and Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers were also initial responders, according to the sheriff's department.

Deputies also praised several Good Samaritans who were on scene until help arrived.


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