LEONI TWP. (WWJ) – Authorities have discovered the apparent cause of a massive chain reaction crash along I-94 in Jackson County that had the freeway shut down for roughly three hours Friday.
Undersheriff Christopher Kuhl said the incident, which happened around 10 a.m., was set off by a driver who was trying to pass another vehicle in the westbound lanes at Race Road, along the border of Leoni and Grass Lake townships. That driver lost control and struck another vehicle, which then led to a series of chain reaction crashes, making the two-lane roadway impassable.
“We did have a number of semis involved. Some jack-knifed across the highway, causing multiple backup crashes behind them as drivers came upon them,” Kuhl told WWJ’s Zahra Huber.
Police say roughly 50 to 60 vehicles were involved in the backup.
“It appears at this point that we have about 35 to 45 vehicles that are actually involved in some type of crash situation, and numerous vehicles are caught between these crashes that didn’t have any damage,” Kuhl said.
While the crash remains under investigation, a sudden snow squall was likely a contributing factor.
“There was an isolated storm system that came through and visibility was greatly reduced and the roadway became very icy,” said Kuhl.
Traffic on the eastbound side of the freeway was completely stopped for about an hour before drivers started moving again. The westbound lanes of the freeway were closed until around 1 p.m.
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