Minor injuries in pileup on I-96 east of GR

Kent County

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A stretch of westbound I-96 east of Grand Rapids was shut down for about three hours Sunday because of a pileup involving 25 vehicles.

The wreck happened shortly after 1 p.m. near Whitneyville Avenue in Cascade Township. The highway was shut down as far back as the Alden Nash Avenue exit to Lowell until around 4 p.m.

Three people were taken to hospitals, according to investigators on the scene. Michigan State Police said later that all reported injuries were minor.

MSP blamed drivers’ high speeds and short following distances on snow-covered roads amid limited visibility. The agency urged drivers to slow down and leave extra space between vehicles when conditions are poor.

Driver Emily Assenmacher told 24 Hour News 8 she believes the pileup began when a semi-truck started to jackknife. She was being followed by some of her family members in three other vehicles, including a U-Haul truck. They were helping her move into Grand Rapids.

“I tried to move out but I couldn’t, so I slammed into the back of the semi. My brother slammed into the back of me and somehow we ended up in this lovely mess,” Assenmacher described.

Emergency responders initially said some 44 vehicles were involved; MSP later revised that figure to 25.

>>App users: Photos from the scene

There were reports of another crash on eastbound I-96 at the M-6 interchange at 1:25 p.m. It’s unknown if anyone was hurt in that incident.

—24 Hour News 8’s Marvis Herring contributed to this report.

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