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Michael Vander Linden, Mich. man, dies in wrong-way car collision, family found dead at home, police say

Michael Vander Linden, Juan Nelson Jr.
Michael Vander Linden drove the wrong way on I-94 in Northwest Ind., triggering a head-on collision that killed him and another driver CBS Chicago/Indiana State Police

(CBS) MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. - Michael Vander Linden, a Michigan man, was driving the wrong way on an Indiana highway when he triggered a crash that left him and another driver dead Thursday, CBS Chicago reports. When police came to his house to notify the family, they found his wife and two young children stabbed to death.

The accident occurred early Thursday morning, about three miles east of the Michigan City exit. Indiana State Police said it appeared 38-year-old Vander Linden pulled out of a rest area the wrong way, heading east in the westbound highway lanes.

His car slammed head-on into a car driven by 45-year-old Juan Nelson Jr., authorities said. Both cars burst into flame, and the fire department came to put out the fire. Crews extricated both drivers from the vehicles, but both died from the crash.

Police came to Vander Linden's home in Belleville, Mich. later that morning when they found the door ajar. Upon looking inside, they found his 33-year-old wife and two young children, ages 4 and 7, stabbed to death, CBS Detroit reports.

"It is very, very disturbing that something like this happens in any community and especially in our semi-rural township of Van Buren," said Paul White, supervisor of Van Buren Township, Mich.

Coroner John Sullivan of LaPorte County, Ind. said it appears that Vander Linden stabbed his family and fled, but this is currently only a theory and the investigation is ongoing.

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