Victims Identified in 40-Car Michigan Pileup on Icy Interstate 96, The Weather Channel

Victims Identified in 40-Car Michigan Pileup on Icy Interstate 96, The Weather Channel

Victims Identified in 40-Car Michigan Pileup on Icy Interstate 96

December nine 2016 01:30 PM EDT

At a Glance

Three people were killed after slimy roads caused a massive pileup involving thirty to forty cars on Interstate ninety six in Michigan Thursday morning, and two of the three victims were identified by authorities.

Police told the Lansing State Journal that Homer Leon Tew, Sixty-nine, and Theresa O’Connor Tew, 62, a spouse and wifey from Ann Arbor , died in the crash. A third victim’s name has not been released, but the report said it is a 28-year-old man from Hollywood, Florida.

“Bands of lake-effect snow are streaming through the Excellent Lakes region as arctic air flows over the relatively warmer lake waters,” said meteorologist Chris Dolce . “Those snow squalls can lead to visibility that deteriorates quickly, along with slick roads.”

The Livingston County Sheriff confirmed to the Livingston Daily that the crash happened around 9:30 a.m. local time .

MSP Sgt. Jeff Munoz told CBS Detroit one of the victims was a driver who had to be extricated from a vehicle . He said numerous people were injured; several of them taken to a local hospital for treatment.

One semi truck was jack-knifed across most of the lanes of I-96 , said Detroit Free Press reporter Kathleen Gray, who was on the road at the time. About a dozen cars and trucks were in the ditches of the median and shoulder of the road. Several dozen more vehicles were smashed but had been able to pull off on the side of the road.

Gray said in the Free Press she heard “the most horrifying sounds I’ve ever heard” as a semi truck’s tires skidded on the ice behind her. She had nowhere to go because traffic was at a stand-still.

“Fortunately, he was able to stop before plowing into me,” Gray said, noting that “it very likely took about an hour to get through the accident scene. Traffic was able to pull around the jack-knifed semi-truck on the shoulder of the freeway.”

Officials shut down both westbound and eastbound lanes , Fox forty seven reports; the eastbound closure was at M-52, and westbound was at Fowlerville Road.

Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw told CBS Detroit there were eight more minor crashes along I-696 due to people driving too prompt for the conditions.

“We’re just attempting to tell people I know it’s the very first snowstorm, I know it’s the very first time we’ve seen snow in a long time, but you gotta slow down and you gotta take a look at those closing distances inbetween the cars in front of you,” Shaw said.

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