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Posted on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

All I-94 lanes reopened after 30,000-pound semi carrying liquor rolls over

By Kyle Feldscher

Editor's note: This article has been updated with corrected information regarding the cleanup effort.

Update: The crash scene had been cleared as of 5:25 p.m., a dispatcher with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office said. One lane of eastbound Interstate 94 remained closed Monday afternoon after a semi-truck weighing about 30,000 pounds and carrying a full load of liquor overturned, causing hours of traffic delays.

Sgt. Mark Thompson, of the Michigan State Police, said a car lost control while hydroplaning at 8:40 a.m. Monday and collided with the semi truck. The driver of the truck lost control and the semi rolled over onto the shoulder, on eastbound I-94 west of Huron Street, Thompson said.

“The semi was in the center lane when a passenger car lost control due to rain and water on the roadway,” he said. “The car struck the semi causing the semi to lose control and leave the roadway.”

The driver of the semi truck suffered minor injuries and the driver of the car did not suffer any injuries. The identities of the two individuals were not known as of Monday afternoon.

The truck was loaded up with liquor that had to be taken out of the truck by hand, Thompson said. Because of the positioning of the semi near a ditch, the pallets could not be unloaded by equipment, he said.

As of 2:50 p.m., one lane of the freeway remained closed for the cleanup effort, a dispatcher with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office said.

The Michigan Department of Transportation and the Washtenaw County Road Commission were on scene assisting with traffic, Thompson said.

There was no word from police on whether anyone was ticketed for causing the crash.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

"Alcohol is nothing but a burden on society. It doesn't have any benefits and just causes rowdy behavior " But what about improved singing and dancing skills...not to mention charm and humor...golly


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

Trying to repeal prohibition?


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

Heads-Up to! The trucker's insurance company will PAY the towing company for their work. You write that "Washtenaw County Road Commission" employees assisted in unloading the boxes of booze. I count eight (8) men in Dayglo Yellow vests unloading those booze boxes. FIND OUT how many of them were WCRC employees! FIND OUT if the WCRC will Send a Bill to the trucker's insurance company. Inquiring Minds Should Like to Know!

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 9:21 p.m.

PineyWoodsGuy: This is an email I received from Jim Harmon at the Road Commission this morning regarding your comment. It is reprinted here with his permission. "The Michigan Department of Transportation ("MDOT") contracts with the Washtenaw County Road Commission ("WCRC") for maintenance, construction and improvement on the state trunkline highways in Washtenaw County (this includes I-94). Costs and expenses incurred by the WCRC in performance of this contract are reimbursed by MDOT. On behalf of MDOT, the WCRC routinely provides mutual aid, response, recovery, and repair services due to crashes such as the truck that rolled over on I-94 yesterday. WCRC crews assisted others with the removal of the cargo from the overturned trailer to allow for removal of the truck and trailer. This work had to be performed by manual labor due to the location and position of the overturned trailer. MDOT will reimburse the WCRC for its costs and expenses according to our contract. MDOT will pursue recovery of costs from the trucking company and its insurance company."


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

Why does that matter? They were there with the lanes closed off anyways, that is what they do, just as well help unload the truck or would you rather have WCRC just sitting watching the tow company unload the semi?


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

Actually they were there. Helping? I don't know, but they were using one truck to merge traffic into the center and far left lanes. I know, I was there. Taught a new driver a thing or two on how to deal with accident traffic. Love the unexpected.


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 12:52 a.m.

An 18 wheeler weighs just over 30, 000 lbs when empty. The maximum legal gross for an 18 wheeler is 40 tons or 80, 000 lbs. Generally, a liquor load will put the weight very near maximum gross weight.

Frustrated in A2

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

I was going to say the same thing.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

"liquor slicker" then "quicker liquor picker-upper"


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

Seems the trucks these days just cannot hold their liquor now can they? Or to be blunt? I lost my liquor. I drove by there around 10am and it was really backed up. They had two semi tow trucks and at noon? Still working on removing the packaged goods. Glad to hear no one got hurt. Was there a fire? I thought I saw black stuff near the engine.

Lorrie Mayzlin

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

I would like to extend a generous offer of taking all the bottles not fit for sale off the hands of the workers who rescued it. I promise none of it will go to waste.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

People have forgotten how to drive in the rain this summer.


Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 5:42 a.m.

Actually it's called "To Fast for Conditions"!


Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

Its called distracted driving. We have invited distraction into our vehicles and it is an accident waiting to happen....tragically.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:48 p.m.

People have forgotten how to drive period!


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

Cash? Wait until winter when the fun really begins.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

I hope those people who helped unload the product were given a little sample for their troubles


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:47 p.m.

I know me to.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

I need to know, will this be another of those accidents that the anti-drinking crowd call an alcohol related crash? The way things are currently, if i get in an accident on my way home from Kroger, with a 6 pack in the back seat, it is an alcohol related accident.

sun runner

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

I'm going to go home and pour some out in memory of my vodka's homies.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

The liver is mean, and should be punished!

Ricardo Queso

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

Not "mean", "evil".


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

A moment of silence please for all the great spirits we have lost....


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

Well...I guess there was no need to mention that THIS was an alcohol related accident! LOL! =D

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

what about the fish? are they celebrating?

Superior Twp voter

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 6:39 p.m.

I believe that is alcohol abuse. And I hope the careless car driver who caused it gets an award for it, namely, a citation for failure to maintain control of his/her vehicle.

Ann English

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

Sounds like there had been only a light rain at 8:40 in the morning. I-94 was freer of oil at 9:30, for I didn't have any trouble with traction on it at that time. One radio announcer mentioned the roads being slippery at 6:30 am, and I was reminded about how the pavement is most slippery just after it starts raining; that it's safer to drive after a heavy rain than a light one. I thought we all learned that in driver's education. Hopefully the students at All-Star, AAA, and Sears Driving Schools are learning this from their teachers, not the hard way.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

Good Riddens. Alcohol is nothing but a burden on society. It doesn't have any benefits and just causes rowdy behavior and automotive crashes and our city would be a million times better without it.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

Homer Simpson said it best; "To alcohol...The cause of...and solution to...all of life's problems."


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

I do believe we have a successful troll here. Ladies and gents, please don't feed the trolls.

another kathy

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.

I wish the readers of were not so hasty in their opinions and labels. I do not agree with the exaggerated comment by YANAR nor do I appreciate the replies that lump all conservative people as religious nuts. Perhaps that is because I am a conservative Christian who also believes there is no harm to most people who enjoy an alcoholic drink on occasion. Thankfully the truck driver was not seriously injured.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:54 p.m.

Or, johnnya2, could he be another leftie who always knows what's better for the other guy, i.e. Bloomberg and his super size Cokes?

Lorrie Mayzlin

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

Riddens? LOL That's not even a word -- but I could suggest that you CAN move to a dry county -- there are a few of them in NW Ohio that would be more suited to your tastes -- Alcohol, statistically, has benefits -- it's the excess that causes trouble (many people do not know when enough is enough, and many more of them, simply don't care). Financially, Ann Arbor (or any other large metropolitan area) would not be "a million times better without it" -- alcohol sales account for more than just a pittance to the tax base. Please educate yourself before you let your fingers do the talking -- and for heaven's sake... learn to spell.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

What do you mean there is no benefit? It makes people happy, not much better benefit than that. They even say in moderation, it can have health benefits. As far as A2 being a million times better without? I think your downtown would be near empty with out the bars and restaurants that serve it. Anyway, I'm sure you have some vice many of us think is non-beneficial too..... Maybe like art, religion,etc....


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

Another right winger who does not let science confuse them with facts


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

I would call your attention to your own nickname. There are lots of positives associated with moderate alcohol consumptions, but teetotalers like you seem to think everyone who drinks gets hammered out of their skulls.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

you're a few years late for the Temperance Movement.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.



Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

So what kind of liquor was it, I might have been willing to help with the clean up.

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

Photos show some schnapps, Irish liqueur and brandy. There will be a gallery coming soon, I believe.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

"Removal of the liquor had initially been expected to require the entire day, until a man identifying himself as 'H. Simpson' appeared at the scene."


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.