Wintry weather causes Mich. freeway crashes Thursday

The Detroit News

Icy roads caused a 32-vehicle pile-up Thursday on Interstate 94 in Paw Paw, Michigan State Police said.

"Thankfully, there were no serious injuries and the damage to the vehicles was relatively minor," said First Lt. Dale Hinz, commander of the Michigan State Police Post in Paw Paw. "It could have been a lot worse."

Paw Paw is located about 150 miles west of Detroit and 20 miles west of Kalamazoo.

Police continue to investigate.


"A vehicle slide off the freeway near exit 60," Hinz said. "Leading up to that, we had another vehicle lose control and the chain reaction started." 

He said the crash, which involved 16 semi-tractor trailers and 16 passenger cars, happened at about 9:15 a.m. on I-94 near exit 60 for M-40.

The freeway was closed for a little more than two hours, he said.

"We've been experiencing a pretty good amount of lake effect snow today," he said. "It is that first snowfall of the season that causes drivers to reacclimate to winter driving."

In addition, crashes involving about three dozen vehicles also closed part of I-94 in southwestern Michigan.

WOOD-TV and the Kalamazoo Gazette report a pileup started about 9 a.m. Thursday near Mattawan in Van Buren County. Some motorists suffered minor injuries.

Slippery road conditions due to snow are believed to have contributed to the crashes.

State police Lt. Chuck Christensen said there was a 20-car accident followed by a 10-car crash and “eight other separate crashes.”

The Ludington Daily News reports that a 2-vehicle crash was caused about 7 a.m. Thursday in Mason County’s Amber Township when a pickup truck slid into oncoming traffic and sideswiped an SUV. The SUV’s driver suffered minor injuries.

Associated Press contributed.

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