Architect Tobocman killed in township crash

November 13, 2017

Noted Birmingham architect Irving Tobocman was killed Friday, November 10,  when his car was hit by a 16-year old driver who ran a red light on Telegraph and Lone Pine roads in Bloomfield Township.

Tobocman, 84, known for his sleek, contemporary designs, was allegedly on his way to a long-time client in Bloomfield Township at approximately 4 p.m. when his 2004 Ford Thunderbird, which was traveling westbound on Lone Pine on a green light, was hit by a 2016 Jeep Wrangler traveling northbound on Telegraph which ran a red light. According to Bloomfied Township police, all of the occupants of both vehicles were transported to a local hospital, where Tobocman was pronounced deceased.

The driver of the Jeep, a 16-year-old Bloomfield Township female and her female passenger, were both in stable condition on Friday. Sgt. Kimberly Comerford stated on Monday, November 13 that she believed both teens had been released from the hospital.

Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor in the crash, but Comerford said it is too early to know if excessive speed was a part of the cause, or if the driver will be charged in the crash. Police are seeking information from anyone who witnessed the accident.

“There is the potential for her to be charged with something, but it is too early in the investigation,” Comerford said, noting that more information will be available later in the week.

Both teens are students at Bloomfield Hills High School, and superintendent Dr. Robert Glass put out a statement which read in part, “As you may have heard, two of our high school students were involved in a car accident over the weekend, resulting in the death of a local resident. Our hearts are with the resident's loved ones and with our students and their loved ones.”

Tobocman will be remembered at a funeral service at Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield on Wednesday, November 15, at 10 a.m. A University of Michigan architecture graduate, he studied and followed the Ludwig Miles van der Rohe style of architecture, with his signature designs notable for flat roofs, white painted bricks, interior furnishings he designed to go along with the architecture, as well as cohesive landscaping. He designed residential, apartments and commercial buildings in his long and illustrative career.

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