Michigan State Police: 30 truckers cited in January's icy I-94 pileup

Michigan State Police: 30 truckers cited in January's icy I-94 pileup

Investigation points to snowy conditions, speeding; see in-cab video

The Michigan State Police (MSP) has completed its investigation of January’s highly publicized 193-vehicle crash on I-94, with 30 truckers among the 63 drivers cited. Investigators determined the primary cause to be driving too fast for the road conditions.

The Jan. 9 crash closed both eastbound and westbound I-94 for two days while numerous agencies worked to remove the damaged vehicles and hazardous materials involved in the incident.

The eastbound crash was complicated by a tanker hauling 44,600 pounds of liquid formic acid that had overturned next to a semi loaded with 40,000 pounds of fireworks.  The two trucks, as well as the formic acid, began to burn, resulting in an evacuation order. 

That crash claimed the life of a 57-year-old Canadian truck driver when he drove into the back of a tractor trailer hauling vehicles, according to the report.

A cab-cam view, courtesy MSP and MLive.com is here:

The westbound crash began approximately 3-5 minutes after the eastbound crash when motorists, distracted by the crash in the eastbound lanes, lost control of their vehicles starting a multi-vehicle crash on the westbound side, investigators say.

The westbound crash involved 50 commercial vehicles and 83 passenger vehicles.  The accident scene spanned more than a quarter-mile.

After the review of photographic and video evidence, as well as driver and witness statements, MSP issued citations to all drivers found at-fault for violation of the basic speed law, or operating a vehicle “at a speed greater than that which will permit a stop within the assured, clear distance ahead.”

In the eastbound crash, this includes 12 drivers of commercial vehicles and nine drivers of passenger vehicles. In the westbound crash, 18 drivers of commercial vehicles and 19 drivers of passenger vehicles will be cited, MSP said.

With the large number of commercial vehicles involved in these crashes, MSP also said it will be working with the Michigan Truck Safety Commission and its Canadian counterpart to raise awareness among commercial drivers in hopes of preventing future crashes of this nature.

A dramatic and sobering look at the chain reaction from across the road is here:

 

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