Crash of 3 semis, pickup truck closes I-94 for hours
Photo courtesy of Chelsea Area Fire Authority
A pickup truck driver headed west on I-94 at Pierce Road west of Chelsea lost control of the vehicle Monday morning on the snow-covered and slick road, said State Police Trooper Duane Zook. Three semi trucks were traveling behind the pickup and their drivers applied the brakes to keep from hitting the truck.
Courtesy of Chelsea Area Fire Department
“It was just a mess,” Zook said. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
The overturned semi was loaded with flour, said Chelsea Area Fire Authority Chief Jim Payeur. Some of the floor had to be off-loaded in order to right the truck.
Payeur said the crash occurred about 10 or 11 a.m. Monday, and the freeway was not completely reopened until 10:30 or 11 that night.
Initially, motorists had to be routed off I-94 and onto Old U.S. 12 to the Grass Lake area where they could re-enter the freeway, Payeur said. After the pickup truck was removed from the ramp, drivers could get off the highway at the Pierce Road exit, go across the road and get back onto the freeway at the Pierce Road entrance ramp.
Payeur said the crash also caused a major backup on Old U.S. 12 as drivers sought to avoid the problem on I-94.
Though the multiple-semi crash was the one that kept the freeway closed for the longest time, it was far from the only crash in the area, Zook and Payeur said. “We had so many people that were spinning around out there,” Payeur said.
Zook said he dealt with several crashes near Notten Road, west of Pierce Road Monday morning. The eastbound lanes of the freeway were closed for a while to deal with those crashes.
There were also other crashes in the westbound lanes as drivers came upon the backed-up traffic and couldn’t stop in time, Zook said.
Zook said he thought snowfall Monday caught people by surprise. The roads were slick, he said, but the main problem was people were driving too fast for conditions.
Cindy Heflin is associate news director for AnnArbor.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2572 or follow her on Twitter.