6 hurt in 40-vehicle pileup on I-94

Six people were hurt in a pileup on eastbound I-94 west of Paw Paw. (Feb. 17, 2014)
Six people were hurt in a pileup on eastbound I-94 west of Paw Paw. (Feb. 17, 2014)

PAW PAW TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Six people were hurt Monday evening in a pileup that involved about 40 vehicles — about half of which were semi-trucks.

Eastbound I-94 was closed from 6 p.m. Monday to nearly 4 a.m. Tuesday between County Road 365 (Exit 52) in Lawrence and M-60 (Exit 60) in Paw Paw in Van Buren County.

A pileup on I-94 near Paw Paw. (Feb. 17, 2014)Sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Abbott said the crash started with a jackknifed semi-truck, which was then hit by another semi-truck. And then more vehicles crashed behind them.

“Actually, when the 911s were coming in, the people on the cell line could still hear cars piling into each other,” Abbott said.

By the time all was said and done, the pileup spanned about four miles.

Six people sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Four were taken to hospitals, where their conditions were unknown Monday night.

Drivers said there were whiteout conditions at the time of the crashes. Sgt. Abbott said people were likely driving too fast for those conditions.

“People are leaving themselves enough room when someone slides off or loses control in front of them. It’s just a chain-reaction,” he said.

Audio Barsy was caught in the middle of the mess while driving to Detroit.

“Everybody tried to stop at the same time and just ended up crashing into each other,” Barsy said. “Just heard a couple crashes and then got out to make sure everyone was okay.”

Some drivers had to wait three hours before they could move their vehicles again.

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