Press Release: Car Pedestrian Traffic Fatality, Lapeer township

Lapeer County Sheriff EmblemOn Sunday 10-16-2016 at 5:54 AM, Lapeer County 911 dispatched Lapeer County Sheriff’s Deputies to a car-pedestrian injury traffic crash on Clark Road to the north of Turrill Road in Lapeer (Lapeer County’s Lapeer Township).

David Houghtaling age 44 from Lapeer was walking north on Clark Road. Originally, Houghtaling was walking along the east edge of the roadway. A 2010 Dodge Avenger was traveling south on Clark Road driven by Jason Morrell age 43 from Lapeer. It was before sunrise and the area does not have street lightening. Rain was not occurring when the crash occurred.

Morrell reported that he observed Houghtaling before the collision. Houghtaling waived one of his hands while walking along the east roadway edge. As Morrell approached, Houghtaling walked into the travel portion of the roadway waiving both of his hands. Morrell stated intentions of driving past Houghtaling before stopping. Houghtaling ran toward Morrell’s vehicle as he approached. Statements and evidence (vehicle damage) supports that Houghtaling ran into the driver’s side of Morrell’s vehicle.

After the initial impact, Houghtaling came to rest on the ground within the northbound lane. Morrell stopped along the west roadway shoulder to call 911. A 2007 Nissan Murano driven by 20 year old Rafi Salim from Farmington Hills was traveling north on Clark Road. Salim subsequently struck Houghtaling a second while he was positioned on the ground within the northbound lane.

Houghtaling was transported by ambulance to McLaren in Lapeer and pronounced deceased at 6:29 AM. Morrell and Salim are both cooperating with deputies and alcohol involvement on their behalf has been ruled out. Alcohol involvement on the part of Houghtaling remains under investigation.

The roadway was closed for approximately 1 ½ hours for rescue and investigative purposes. Lapeer County Sheriff’s Deputies were assisted at the scene by Officers with the City of Lapeer Police Department. This case remains under investigation by the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with information is requested to contact Detective Sgt. Jason Parks at 810-656-1015 or