PAW PAW, Mich. — A Michigan State Police trooper was injured Wednesday while responding to a crash on Interstate 94.
According to MSP Lt. Dale Hinz, the trooper suffered minor injuries after his car was hit head-on near exit 52 in Lawrence.
“The Sergeant was facing westbound in the eastbound lanes policing a crash,” Hinz said.
He was taken to Bronson Hospital and the cause is under investigation.
Freezing temperatures and blowing snow provided to be a dangerous mix for west Michigan drivers on Tuesday. There multiple crashes on highways across West Michigan.
A portion of I-94 west near Exit 56 outside Paw Paw reopened about 10 p.m after traffic had been backed up for miles. The road was closed for hours after two semi-trucks jackknifed. Nicole Pelc was caught in the mess as she headed back home to Chicago. Pelc decided to stay at a hotel in Kalamazoo instead of driving.
"We're not taking any chances on the road, we said we'd rather be safe than sorry with our son, so I just booked a hotel," Pelc said.
Earlier in the day, another jackknifed semi blocked traffic on a portion of U.S. Route 131 north in Allegan County for hours.
“Accidents are our primary focus right now," said Martin fire fighter Tyler Horton.
First responders in Allegan County worked overtime on extra patrols, responding to a higher volume of wrecks under treacherous conditions.
Many vehicles ended up in ditches from the fierce winds and blowing snow, which are creating near whiteout conditions all over West Michigan.
Northbound U.S. Route 131 was shut down for hours Tuesday afternoon, between Martin and Dorr due to dangerous conditions.
Horton said, “A lot of wrecks due to the white-out conditions. Obviously, as you can see behind us, the wind is extreme. Its causing zero-visibility for anyone who's on the roads.”
Authorities said to stay off the roads if at all possible, but that didn't stop Lyft driver Mike Savola.
Savola said, “Driving through 94 from Kalamazoo to Paw Paw, just multiple slide offs. People just don't know how to drive. You got to slow down.”
According to Van Buren County Central Dispatch, there were around 50 calls for motor vehicle wrecks and slide-offs on Tuesday.