Dangerous driving conditions resulted in a 36-car crash Friday that sent five people to the hospital.
From 11 a.m. to about 5:30 p.m. US-127 was shut down from M-46 to the Mount Pleasant exits so police could neutralize the incidents.
Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski said the five people taken to the hospital had only minor injuries.
“The only question was one of the five may have hit their head on a windshield so there may have been some head trauma, but it wasn’t anything that was life threatening,” Mioduszewski said. “None of the five had any life-threatening injuries, so we were pretty fortunate about that.”
Friday’s high winds blew a lot of snow across the roads, which affected many drivers’ visibility. That, along with slippery roads from vehicles driving over the snow on the roads, was the main cause of the car crashes, Mioduszewski said.
The conditions also affected two semi trucks and several other vehicles about a mile north of Shepherd.
“That accident was between (Mount Pleasant) and Shepherd,” Mioduszewski said. “Once one car lost control, it was just a chain reaction after that because the visibility was so poor that people couldn’t stop on time.”
Gratiot County also had several car crashes, but the ICSD focused on the roads in their county.
“Gratiot County’s sheriff department was handling a bunch of accidents down there, but we didn’t get involved with that,” Mioduszewski said. “That’s not our county.”
The ICSD had help from several other police departments, including Michigan State Police, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police, Central Michigan University Police and the City of Clare Police Department.
CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley said he dispatched two CMU Police officers to close off entrances to the closed expressway – One by the entrance to US-127 by Home Depot, and the other on S. Mission Street where it turns into US-127.
“The Sheriff’s Department asked for some assistance on US-127 because of the size of the accidents, and we assisted them by closing off a number of entrances on US-127 southbound,” Yeagley said.