Follow up from the deadly 193 Vehicle pileup near Battle Creek, Michigan

Jan 16, 2015 0 Comments in Uncategorized by

1/16/2015

Reminder of the week

Follow up from the deadly 193 Vehicle pileup near Battle Creek, Michigan

A fiery multi-vehicle pileup on snowy roads that involved 193 vehicles brought Interstate 94 near Battle Creek, Michigan, to a screeching halt in both directions Friday, killing at least one person and injuring a number of others.

As of Sunday morning, both sides of I-94 have reopened, according to Michigan State Police. Frozen equipment stalled the effort to reopen the interstate Saturday, the Associated Press reports. The problematic equipment was being used to remove acid from a tanker truck.

The accident happened at mile marker 90 between the Galesburg and Climax exits just after 10 a.m. ET.

Numbers for the vehicles in the pileup were varied on Friday because of the chaotic situation and confusing conditions.

Michigan State Police now say 193 vehicles were involved, including dozens of semi-trucks. Lt. David Wood said that around 50 vehicles remained on the roadway Saturday morning.

MSP reports at least one semi was carrying fireworks. They also classified it as a “hazardous material situation” because of another truck carrying formic acid, which is mainly used as a preservative.

The fireworks caught fire after the crash and many went off, piercing the air with explosive cracks. Two firefighters were taken to a hospital for evaluation after sustaining injuries from the explosions, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported.

After the crash, police asked that anyone within a 3-mile radius evacuate.

Although investigators haven’t said what might have caused the crash, the weather at the time of the wreck was terrible. According to weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam, temperatures sat at 16 degrees with gusty winds to make it feel like 0 outdoors. Snow was falling at the time.

At least one person was killed in the pileup. The victim was identified as 57-year-old truck driver Jean Larocque from Saint-Chrysostome, Quebec.

22 people were treated for injuries at area hospitals, the Battle Creek Enquirer said.

Miles away from the crash site, smoke was visible.

Source: the Weather Channel


What to do to avoid a situation like this? 

  • If road conditions become too extreme, pull over to the next available safe spot and advise dispatch of the delay. Continue only when conditions improve and advise dispatch of movement at all times. 
  • Slow down and increase following distance. Professional truck drivers who practice safe driving know that stopping distance is also affected by weather. Professional truck drivers need to adopt their driving to the road & traffic conditions, allowing more room to stop when precipitation (rain, freezing rain, snow, ice pellets, etc.) is falling or accumulated on the ground.
  • Drive with your lights on to increase visibility.
  • Minimize night driving.
  • Be extra careful in untreated roads. The most dangerous situations are those when traction is lost, preventing the vehicle from responding to driver control of accelerating, braking or steering — such as might occur when hydroplaning, sliding on a patch of ice and jackknifing. Drivers of large trucks should never use an engine brake (aka “Jake Brake”) in wet weather because traction could be lost. In the winter, snow-covered roads can warm up during the day to partially melt off snow but freeze over again at night, creating treacherous conditions. It is very difficult to drive on ice and most large trucks are not equipped to do it. If the roads are below freezing and there is any rain, mist or fog, there is the possibility that “black ice” can form; it’s thin, nearly invisible and very dangerous.

 DON’T FORGET: IF IT IS NOT SAFE TO MOVE, DON’T DO SO. 

Thank You! BE SAFE OUT THERE! 

Klemens Kuqi

Compliance Manager