GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The roads across West Michigan have been difficult to travel on as the first winter storm of the season moves through the area.
One section of the interstate that is seeing crashes is I-94, which had many slide offs and collisions, especially when conditions were at their worst.
The Michigan State Police had two patrol vehicles hit within a matter of hours Thursday on I-94, according to Lt. Duwayne Robinson.
“Actually, in one shift to have two patrol cars hit is something that in my 24 years I have not witnessed,” Robinson said.
The crashes happened near the same location on I-94 by the Hartford exit. In the morning, a trooper was outside of his car when it was hit. He was not injured.
The second happened just a few hours later in the early afternoon and that trooper suffered minor injuries.
“We had a trooper that was in the median conducting stationary patrol when a vehicle driving by lost control and actually ended up crashing into the parked patrol vehicle,” Robinson said.
I-94 has had countless pile-up crashes during severe weather, including one from 2015 involving nearly 200 vehicles. It closed a section of the highway west of Battle Creek for 43 hours.
To help prevent crashes, snowplows have been working around the clock to keep I-94 clear, MDOT spokesperson Nick Schirripa says.
Some wonder why the interstate seems to have many crashes, and officials say that factors such as traffic volume, driver behavior and weather patterns could be adding to the total.
“There are pockets along I-94 just seem to hold cold air or snow or ice. A little bit longer than other places,” Schirripa said.
For anyone who needs to drive in the area, Schirripa asks that they drive slower, leave more space between vehicles, allow more time for stopping and change lanes carefully.