Authorities said that a major accident occurred near Portland, Michigan on I-96, causing a major pileup of 50 to 100 vehicles. Minor injuries have been reported.
Both EB and WB I-96 were shut near Knox Road in Portland Township due to the crash. A reunification center was set up at the Portland Church of the Nazarene.
Tow trucks carried vehicles off the interstate to St. Andrew Lutheran Church at 8867 Kent St. in Portland.
“We are working a 50+ car accident on I96 around 77mm to the 72mm Avoid the highway,” fire officials wrote in a social media posting.
Pictures showed vehicle damage and massive traffic:
Here's a look at some of the damaged cars in the pileup on I-96 near Portland that involved more than 50 vehicles. @WOODTV pic.twitter.com/stOlEowT2b
— Byron Tollefson (@byron_tollefson) March 18, 2023
TRAFFIC ALERT– MSP is on the scene of a 50+ car pileup on I-96 near Portland. Police say there could be as many as 50-100 vehicles involved.
Officials are asking that drivers avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/6DZpr7CXPi
— WNEM TV5 News (@WNEMTV5news) March 18, 2023
Michigan State Police said whiteout conditions caused the crash. Troopers responded to the pileup in the eastbound lanes of I-96 between mile markers 73 and 76 in Portland Township, Michigan State Police said. There are no fatalities.
“Occasional whiteout conditions in falling and blowing snow continue this evening. Radar and satellite show “cellular” lake effect snow as steep lapse rate, high inversion height, and March sun combine to bring snow “downpours,”‘ the weather service tweeted just after 6 PM.
“When the accident scene is this big, we have to account for all the vehicles, all the occupants and make sure that we have the sequence of events correctly,” Lt. Jack Pieters, with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office, said, as per Fox.
“That could take some time. We’re extremely fortunate that there were no fatalities,” Lt. Pieters added.