Whiteout conditions are being blamed for a 150-car pileup on I-96 in West Michigan that sent 16 people to the hospital.

The chaos began around 4:40 pm Saturday (3/18) near Knox Road in Portland Township. Portland Township is about 25 miles northwest of Lansing.

Chaos Everywhere

Emily Anderson is a Grand Rapids resident. She was driving on eastbound I-96 from Grand Rapids to Grand Ledge, and tells WOOD-TV,  "It was just chaos everywhere."

“I just remember driving down, looking in the rear-view mirror and just seeing a car fly off the side into the ditch,” Anderson said. “It was honestly like you couldn’t see anything but cars and just parts of cars flying off either way.”

Michigan State Police officers closed both I-96 eastbound and westbound at about 5:30 pm. Both directions of the freeway were closed between Portland Road and South Grange Road until about 10:45 pm Saturday.

16 People Hospitalized, Dozens of Vehicles Damaged

Michigan State Police tell the TV station that 16 people were taken to local hospitals to be treated for their injuries. Police say no one was seriously hurt.

  • 84 vehicles were damaged in the pileup.
  • 66 cars slid off the freeway but sustained no damage.

Josephine Davidson, also from Grand Rapids said conditions deteriorated quickly.

“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 said. “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.”


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