The blizzard that struck Chicago earlier this week and caused havoc to those who drive managed to move east and hit Michigan before traveling out of the Midwest. While hovering over Michigan, ice and snow accumulated on several interstates and led to dangerous conditions, primarily in the western Michigan city of Kalamazoo. New video has surfaced of a massive pileup that happened in that area on I-94 yesterday and involved somewhere between 150 and 200 cars.
Local authorities believe that poor driving conditions stemming from a mix of snow, wind, and low visibility combined to lead to initial collisions and that once several vehicles were involved, those approaching the area were unable to stop and crashed as well. The current vehicular estimate of 150 to 200 cars includes several semi-trucks that crashed, one of which reportedly was hauling fireworks and caught on fire after the impact. Witnesses in the area reported the sounds of fireworks exploding as the fire spread to the trailer of the truck and ignited the cargo.
Both the westbound and eastbound lanes of I-94 between mile markers 92 and 88 were affected but the westbound lanes had many more vehicles than the eastbound. The initial collisions began at approximately 1:00 p.m. Friday and continued until authorities closed down the area due to the crashes and the interstate remained closed into Saturday. At this time, officials report that it will be at least 6:00 p.m. Saturday before any of I-94 is opened in the area because of the time it has taken to remove disabled vehicles and clear them from the road’s surface.
In addition to damage to every vehicle involved, one fatality has been confirmed with several others reported but unsubstantiated at this time. Additional injury victims were in need of medical treatment and multiple ambulances reported to the area to help those in need.
Friday’s incident is a reminder of how deadly winter weather accidents can be regardless of whether they occur in Michigan or in Chicago. Areas known for heavy snowfall or occasional ice are more likely to experience car collisions than areas with warmer weather and less variation in weather conditions. While some of these accidents may not be avoidable, many of them are as they involve driver error in addition to the inclement weather.
When negligence or recklessness play a role in a crash, victims of those accidents may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their losses against an at-fault driver or even against their personal automobile insurance policy. Speaking with a lawyer who handles car crashes in Chicago may help you understand your options if you have been involved in a collision or if your loved one was killed.
The law firm of Abels & Annes, P.C. is comprised of personal injury attorneys who believe in fighting for victims’ rights and the rights of those who have suffered due to the actions of others. If your life has been affected by an accident, we want to help you as well.
We offer a free case consultation without any obligation to all victims who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If you are injured or if you suffered in an accident, call us now and let us fight for the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Winter Storm Leads to Car Accidents across Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 9, 2015.
At Least 1 Dead In 150-Vehicle Pileup On Michigan Interstate, Huffington Post, published January 9, 2015.