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Drivers identified in fatal head-on crash on I-96 in Howell Township

Authorities have identified the two drivers killed in a head-on crash Wednesday morning in Howell Township.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office reports that 911 Central Dispatch  was advised by Ingham County Central Dispatch about a wrong way driver at 1:47 a.m., with reports that a black Audi, driven by a 29-year-old Iowa man, identified as John Francis Manion from Dubuque, was heading eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-96.

About ten minutes after that initial call, the  Audi reportedly hit a Buick Regal traveling westbound near Mile Marker 132, west of W. Highland Rd. The Buick was driven by a 30-year-old Lansing woman, Mary Javonne Buchanan, who had two passengers in the backseat; a 28-year-old woman from Lansing and a 4-year-old girl from Lansing.

The Iowa man driving the Audi was declared dead at the scene, while the Lansing woman driving the Buick was taken to U of M Hospital in Ann Arbor, where she later died as a result of her injuries. The 28-year-old passenger suffered a broken jaw while the 4-year-old did not sustain any notable injuries.

Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. The 4-year old passenger was restrained in a child safety seat and it is unknown if the rear seat passenger was wearing her seat belt.

The freeway was closed for about four hours while authorities investigated the crash and completed a cleanup.

Officials say that both alcohol and speed played roles in the crash, which remains under investigation.

Deputies were assisted on the scene by Livingston County Ambulance, Howell Area Fire Department, and the MDOT.

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