DETROIT (WWJ) – Michigan State Police are now saying there were a total of 43 vehicles involved in 12 separate crashes over a mile-long stretch of I-75 last week.
The “nightmare” pileup that happened last Thursday is responsible for claiming the lives of three people: a 7-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl from Canada, and 54-year-old Larry Manolis, of Allen Park.
The children are believed to be brother and sister, although their identities have not been released. Police say an adult male and a 10-year-old child that were riding in the same car as the deceased children have been released from the hospital. An adult female who was also in the car has been upgraded to serious condition at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Twelve or more people were transported to area hospitals, most with back, neck and head injuries. At least two of those hospitalized were reported in critical condition.
Multiple cars were seen crushed up against the median and some motorists, at one point, were trapped in their cars. Several vehicles were overturned and twisted metal littered the freeway.
Tipsters calling into the WWJ Newsroom said driving conditions at the time of the accident were treacherous with high winds, icy roads and poor viability due to a snow squall.
Southbound I-75 was shut down between Springwells and Dearborn Street for several hours while police tried to figure out exactly what led to the massive series of crashes.
Troopers say that they have now completed all of the investigations, except for inquiries into the two fatal crashes — for which they are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results and vehicle inspections.