Crawford Co. White-Out Conditions Cause Multi-Car Crash, One Hospitalized

In some areas, the blowing snow turned clear conditions to dangerous white-outs in moments.

In Crawford County, a multi-car crash on I-75 on Friday afternoon sent at least one person to the hospital.

“It could have been a lot worse, but, thankfully, it wasn’t,” says Steve Martin, owner of AuSable Towing & Recovery.

Steve Martin and his tow truck crew pulled up to see at least a dozen trucks and cars smashed together on I-75.

“It’s hard to determine where it started and who created the problem, but the end result was a lot of smashed cars and a lot of cars in the ditch,” Martin says.

Many vehicles were damaged beyond repair.

A tour bus was also in the scramble.

“When people start driving too fast for the conditions, they don’t have time to react and, before you know it, they are hitting the car in front of us or trying to stop and sliding off the road,” Martin says.

“It’s very dangerous,” says Doug Pratt, Frederic Township fire chief and Crawford County Emergency Manager. “We go from where you can see really well to zero visibility within seconds.”

One person was hospitalized.

Others sought treatment at the scene.

Pratt says it’s a situation that is hard to avoid once it begins.

“Keep a speed going,” Pratt says. “If your speed was 60 mph and you try to slow your speed down, don’t go drastically down to 10. If you go to 10, you are going to get hit.”

And when you can’t even see the road — don’t pass.

“We need them to slow down. When they see red lights, usually it means that there is probably something in front of us,” Pratt says.

“It can be crazy,” Martin says. “People just need to slow down when it’s white-out conditions. You just have to slow down, maybe turn your emergency hazards on so people behind you can see you. Try to avoid collisions.”

The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation.