Michigan Freeway Still Shut Down After Friday’s 200-Car Pileup

AP Photo/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group, Mark Bugnaski
AP Photo/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group, Mark Bugnaski
Galesburg, MI

On Friday, Interstate 94 between Kalamzoo and Galesburg, Michigan erupted in a massive 200-car pileup that resulted in one death, scores of injuries, fires and ruined vehicles. One day later, the highway is still closed down as authorities try to clean up the mess.

The massive accident near Galesburg began when several tractor-trailer trucks slammed into each other on the Interstate. A truck driver from Ottawa, Canada, was killed early in the super-sized accident, but cars and trucks continued to slam into the growing pileup due to the wind-blown snow and freezing temperatures that caused black ice to form on the roads beneath the snow.

Before it was over, some 200 vehicles became entangled in the mess. One of those involved was carrying a truckload of fireworks and, like many others, the truck soon caught fire sending whistling fireworks off in every direction.

Now, more than 24 hours after the massive accident began, authorities are trying to clean up the mess and I-94 is still closed down.

Michigan State Police Lt. Dave Wood reported that all 133 vehicles that were entangled in the westbound lanes have been removed, but the eastbound lanes of the highway was still closed down on Saturday.

The biggest obstacle to opening the eastbound lanes is a disabled tanker truck filled with formic acid, a hazardous waste.

Authorities said that the Interstate will not be re-opened until the roadway is plowed and the Michigan Department of Transportation inspects the surface for problems.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.