MSP issue 20 tickets in deadly I-94 pileup

The crashes on I-94 involved dozens of vehicles and semi-trucks. (Courtesy: Michigan State Police)

HARTFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD)– More than a dozen drivers have been ticketed for two pileups on Interstate 94 that led to two deaths.

Michigan State Police released their findings Thursday into the pair of chain reaction crashes on I-94 near Hartford. Detectives concluded drivers were traveling too fast for the snowy conditions on Jan. 17.

The eastbound crash killed passenger 78-year-old Carol Griesemer of Northville. Her son, Andrew Griesemer, died from his injuries Sunday. Michigan State Police said of the 52 vehicles involved in the eastbound crash, 15 drivers will be ticketed. Two of those drivers were driving commercial vehicles.

Vehicles are brought to a park-and-ride in Hartford after three pileups on I-94 between Watervliet and Hartford. (Jan. 17, 2016)
Vehicles are brought to a park-and-ride in Hartford after three pileups on I-94 between Watervliet and Hartford. (Jan. 17, 2016)

About 10 minutes after the deadly crash, troopers said another eight vehicles were involved in a chain reaction crash on westbound I-94, east of Hartford. Troopers said a total of five drivers will be ticketed in that pileup, including two commercial vehicle drivers.

In addition to those killed, 14 people were injured, including a Van Buren County Sheriff’s deputy, who was hit by a vehicle while helping an injured driver.

Police said the crashes serve as a lesson to other drivers: slow down in winter weather and give extra space to nearby vehicles.

Police and a wrecker near the scene of three pileups on I-94 between Watervliet and Hartford. (Jan. 17, 2016)
Police and a wrecker near the scene of three pileups on I-94 between Watervliet and Hartford. (Jan. 17, 2016)

“This crash is a vivid illustration of the dangers of traveling too fast on icy and snowy roads,” said 1st Lt. Dale Hinz in a news release Thursday. “As drivers, we are responsible for controlling our vehicles at all times, no matter the weather or roadway conditions.”

Michigan State Police said the citations were mailed out on Tuesday.

The Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the case to determine if any criminal charges will be filed in connection to the deadly pileup.

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