I-96 crash leaves traffic backup, 3 dead
Update, December 9, 2016:
Westbound I-96 has reopened following yesterday's fatal crash. The Livingston County Sheriff's Office now says 53 vehicles are believed to have been involved in the incident which left three people dead.
Two of the victims have been identified as Homer Leon Tew, 69, and Theresa O'Connor Tew, 62, of Ann Arbor. The third victim was a 28-year-old man believed to be from Hollywood, Florida. Authorities are still trying to notify his family and have not yet released his name.
The crash remains under investigation.
Update, 6:15 p.m.:
The Livingston County Sheriff's Department announced that westbound I-96 would remain closed for several more hours.
Update, 4:30 p.m.:
In addition to the three fatalities, eleven injured victims were taken to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing and St. Joseph Livingston Hospital. According to the Livingston County Sheriff's Department, their injuries were not life-threatening.
A department spokesman said eastbound I-96 re-opened around 3 p.m., and westbound I-96 is closed until further notice between M-59 and M-52. The sheriff's office says its best guess is that it may re-open between 5 and 6 p.m. tonight.
The department believes the accident was weather related, with a chain reaction caused by slick roads and whiteout conditions.
At around 9:45 am this morning, a 30-to-40 vehicle crash on westbound I-96 between Webberville and Fowlerville left three people dead.
The Lansing State Journal has this tweet that shows the location of the crash:
40+ car accident on Westbound I96 at west of Fowlerville. Ingham County units being requested to assist. @MDOT_LanJxn pic.twitter.com/j4UUn9XiUk— Ingham County HSEM (@InghamHSEM) December 8, 2016
More from The Lansing State Journal:
Detroit Free Press Reporter Kathleen Gray was driving along I-96 westbound between the Williamston and Okemos exits when the crash happened. Gray said the crash happened about 9:30 a.m. amid white-out snow conditions on roads coated in a thin sheet of ice. A semi-truck jack knifed across most of the lanes of the expressway, Gray said. About a dozen cars and trucks ended up in ditches, and dozens others were smashed. She said she wasn't involved in the crash.
I-96 PILEUP: Freeway remains closed in both directions after 40-car accident. 3 people confirmed dead. #Local4 pic.twitter.com/BzMDHPEcQV— Jason Colthorp (@JasonColthorp) December 8, 2016
Lanes on I-96 near Okemos Road are reportedly open again.
All lanes of I-96 near Okemos Road are open again. The roads and highways everywhere continue to be very icy - please drive carefully!— Lansing State Journal (@LSJNews) December 8, 2016
Those seeking more information about the crash (or any traffic information) can us MI Drive — a tracking system on Michigan.gov's website.