Saturday, March 18, Michigan State Police were forced to shut down all lanes of traffic on I-96, near Ionia County, after whiteout conditions caused a pileup of dozens of cars. According to MSP, the initial crash happened at around 4:40 p.m. but I-96 wasn’t reopened until after 10 p.m., as police struggled for hours to clear between 50-100 cars from the road. Thankfully, while injuries were reported, none were said to be serious and there were no reported casualties.
Whiteout conditions came on pretty suddenly, drastically reducing visibility, according to Emily Anderson, one of the people involved in the pileup. “It just kind of hit whiteout, and then all of a sudden you couldn’t really see it until you’re about less than 100 feet,” Anderson told Wood TV 8. “And you start hitting the brakes and you try to downplay it. We just started sliding out of control and then just kind of plowed through the back of a couple of vehicles.”