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Posted on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:12 a.m.

Drivers crash as snowfall turns Interstate 94 into 'sheet of ice' in Ann Arbor area

By Cindy Heflin

8:20 a.m. update: Many crashes had been cleared from the freeway, a dispatcher said. police were still dealing with a couple of crashes on I-94 between Rawsonville Road and Michigan Avenue and a crash at U.S. 23 and Washtenaw Avenue.

A light snowfall turned Interstate 94 in the Ann Arbor area into a “sheet of ice in both directions,” Friday morning, a dispatcher with the Washtenaw county Sheriff’s Department said.

Crashes littered the freeway between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti she said. Dispatchers were dealing with too many to count, she said at 7 a.m.

The crashes included a jackknifed semi tractor-trailer rig in the ditch at I-94 and Huron Street in Ypsilanti. Media reports indicated there were numerous crashes in the area of I-94 and Jackson Road and I-94 and U.S. 23 in Ann Arbor.

A Google traffic map showed significant backups on the freeway between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

M-14 so far had been mostly problem free, "knock on wood," the dispatcher said.

No further information was immediately available.


Traffic backups are shown in black, red and yellow on the maps

Contact Cindy Heflin at or 734-623-2572 or follow her on Twitter.



Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

No snow at M14 and Ford Rd. This was very localized to the I94 area up to Washtenaw.

Kai Petainen

Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 2:56 a.m.

and some photos from the storm <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Kai Petainen

Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 2:55 a.m.

here's a slower version of that storm. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Kai Petainen

Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> it's a link to a timelapse that i took of ann arbor last night. you'll see trains, planes, the moon, orion and the storm that rolled through. the storm is a bit interesting... in the full resolution version, you can see something that looks like a small twister. (about the 0:58 mark)


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

25 to 30 years ago, we got more snow and my parents and others, drove slow and carefully, and got to there destination in one piece.

Silver Dollar

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

Everyone wants to blame the people who maintain the roads for the accidents. They can't possibly keep the roads free and clear of ice and snow every minute of the day. You must drive according to the road conditions . You are the driver and it is up to you to control your vehicle, regardless of the weather conditions. Slow down and pay attention. It also wouldn't hurt to keep some distance between you and the driver in front of you!


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

justbicurious hates the road commission so it will always be there fault regardless..Was it the RC fault yesterday for that 6 car pileup on 94 and peirce rd yesterday when the sun was shining to???

Silver Dollar

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 9:29 p.m.

The problem is that everyone's drive time is different so how can they keep the road clean all the time. Some people go to work at midnight and every time inbetween. We still have to be responsible for our own actions and driving habits.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

Actually, on here usually the drivers always get blamed. Today is the one exception. You go too far in the other direction. We should expect the Road Commission to monitor conditions and make sure that the roads will be safe by drive time. Everyone knew the temperatures were dropping and ice was a possibility. The officers should not spend their mornings calling for salt.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

Dear Drivers: Did you ever hear of driving at speeds safe for conditions on the roads ? Or leaving early and allowing extra time to get to your destination on time and not create unsafe conditions for the majority trying to drive responsibly? No, I guess it IS easier to blame the Road Commission for not being everywhere for a 15 minute snow squall, although they were out in force. That snow and ice accumulation was amazing wasn't it? Not.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 9:29 p.m.

People around this area are some of the worst drivers in Michigan we have accidents here in rain, snow, or shine it does not matter..That phone call is way more important than driving..HURRY HURRY HURRY


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

Slow DOWN!!!! I have been on much worse ice than what was out there this a.m. Take youe time you will get there... Leave early, than to try and rush


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

I wish people would but they refuse to do so and crash then point the finger at the road commissions never themselves...


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Oh and just to add, no weather forecast said ICE. Just a dusting or snow.

Snehal Shah

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

If you live in Michigan relying on weatherman, you are a dead duck! Common sense is easier than their multi-million dollar forecasts which is not so accurate 95% of the time!


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

So here is a correction for those of you bashing the Road Commission. They were out in full force early this morning with Salt. But the ice formed so quickly with snow it was hard to handle as fast as you ALL would like to think. Its a process. And shame on you all for bashing them. It is uncalled for. I am a driver that commutes every morning into Ann Arbor. It was pretty plain and clear the road had a chance of being slippery if not already were. So guess what, I slowed down and took my time. And made it to work safely. Just because there is an accident due to the weather does not make it automatically the Road Commissions fault. Its the WEATHER! They were out trying to do the best they can do, the weather conditions effect them to ya know.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

I was on the road at 4:45 this morning on 94 by chelsea and the road was very slippery, so I slowed to 40 mph saw a couple of cars in the ditch, I just about got ran over several times even with my 4 ways on.. People would see the cars in the ditch slow down just a little by them and then right back in the gas again, if you were paying attention you can see the road was pure ice...I had a chevy truck tailgating me so close I could not see their headlights, unreal..But I made it to work on time and had a few close calls but I am not going to blame anyone but mother nature..Justcurious why don't you program the road commission into that scanner and you can give us all updates on where and when the roads will be treated..


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.

You say this every time this happens. Why are the officers begging for salt on the scanner every time. This morning they started at 4:30 am and continued through 8.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

The Road Commissions seems to be silent on this morning's lack of salting......maybe can do a follow-up and find out where the salt was.........we'd all like to hear the excuses......


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

I think you're on to some sort of conspiracy here JRW. You should email Sean Hannity. The Road Commission is obviously hiding from you and you need answers Damnit!


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

This was a very localized snow squall. I had a little bit of snow at my house (southeast a2) and drove in a light dusting of snow north on US23, but by the time that I got on to eastbound M14, there was no snow at all. The remainder of my commute was on clear, dry pavement.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

The Road Commission must have slept in problemo, spring is here! Not. Drivers who have crashes on the ice due to untreated roads should send their repair claims to the Road Commission. That might get their attention. The Road Commission should also pay for all the increased ins premiums as a result of the crashes. No excuse for not treating the roads early this morning. Oh, that's right, they used all the salt during this year's terrible winter!

steve h

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:51 p.m.

JRW. Where does the road commission get their funds?


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

And the Cell phone companies, and Makeup companies and Fast food companies should pay for distracted driving damages too!

Roy Munson

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Dear Washtenaw County &quot;Road Commission,&quot; Ever hear of a thing called salt? What is today's ridiculous excuse/story? I could use a good laugh.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

The trucks were out just as it was falling. None of the predictions I saw stated ICE. It was all a slight dusting. Under and inch. So no ones fault here except Monther Natures.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Watching weather reports is part of what the Road commission is supposed to do. When they saw the snow and ice, why didn't they get those trucks out there??

Thinking over here

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

I'd bet they didn't know where it was going to hit - out where I drive near Saline we didn't get that precip. It seems to have been hit or miss on who got it.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

I do not have a morning commute, but when I saw the light snow and temp this morning, I figured it would create problems. Hopefully no one was injured. I'd rather drive in 2, 3, 4+ inches than in a &quot;trace&quot; that falls quickly and does not melt.

sun runner

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

I'm glad I decided to skip my usual Friday morning breakfast at Selma Cafe (for which I would have left my house around 6:15 and driven east on I-94). Sleeping in and leaving at 7:30 instead probably saved me a LOT of trouble!


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

It was the worst drive of the winter. The road were pure ice @ 6 am. Every bend in 94 westbound had a vehicle disabled on it.


Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.