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2 dead, 2 injured in crash on WB I-696 near I-275

Michigan State Police are investigating a chain-reaction crash Thursday on Interstate 696 in Oakland County that left two people dead and two others injured.

The crash happened at about 10:15 a.m. near Interstate 275, they said.

A preliminary investigation found a 57-year-old driver of a semitractor-trailer westbound on I-696 toward Interstate-96 "couldn’t stop for traffic and rear ended a Buick LaCrosse," state police said on Twitter. "The crash resulted in a chain reaction striking three other vehicles."

The driver and passenger of the Buick, identified as a 72-year-old man from Hawks in Presque Isle County and his 69-year-old wife, died instantly, according to the post.

Two other drivers were hospitalized with injuries that were not believed to be life- threatening, MSP reported.

Part of the freeway was closed for hours as crews tended to the scene. It reopened by 6 p.m., the Michigan Department of Transportation said.

"The investigation pends toxicology, medical examiner reports and reconstruction reports," state police said, adding the resulted will be submitted to prosecutors.

Any witnesses who have not already spoken with troopers are asked to call MSP at (248) 584-5740.