Whiteout conditions cause dozens of cars and trucks to crash Thursday morning

Posted at 8:00 PM, Dec 08, 2016

Thursday morning was one of the busiest of Mike O'Connor's career.

"All of our wreckers are out. All of our drivers are out. And I'm running a wrecker also trying to keep up with the craziness of our day," exclaims O'Connor.

O'Connor usually works in the service department of Okemos Marathon, but because it was nonstop, back and forth, he had to hit the road to tow more wrecked cars from the sides of I-96.

"Just people sliding in, sliding off, running into each other, there's just been a lot of crashes here on 96," says O'Connor.

Flashing police lights lined the highway all morning, and Ingham county sheriff sergeant Andy Daenzer says the biggest issue was the snow coming down so quickly.

Daenzer explains, "we had serious whiteout conditions on the freeway that led to lots of crashes."

And that blizzard of snow quickly made the highway slick and O'Connor says part of that is because it's the first serious snow to hit the highway this year.

"Well there's not been any salt on the roads this year so it's 25 or 26 degrees right now, it puts a little water on the road and there's never been salt on it so it doesn't have any chance to save itself," describes O'Connor.

And drivers were frustrated. While their cars were being towed nobody wanted to talk on camera.

"I think it's frustration right now," says Sgt. Daenzer. "The number of crashes that we've had, it's been slow going. Getting tow trucks out is a bit of a problem, so it's slow going this morning. I think that's the biggest frustration this morning is having to be patient with everything."

Police say fortunately, none of the slide-offs caused any serious injuries.