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State Police: Weather and Speed Led to Multiple Accidents

Posted at 9:38 PM, Nov 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-23 22:41:51-05

WEST MICHIGAN — Law enforcement in parts of southwest Michigan kept busy in the snowy conditions.

“We had so many crashes and slide-offs all over 94, Red Arrow Highway, and also over 131,” Sergeant Scott Ernstes, with Michigan State Police said.

Ernstes is with the Paw Paw post. He said three troopers were called in early to keep up with the crashes. He believes the accidents were mostly preventable.

“Typically, when weather gets more like this, the biggest factor is people, people just are going too fast,” Ernstes explained.

“Plus, it’s the first snow of the year. They don’t realize that their speed is [what will] actually cause the crash and they’re not able to slow down and stop in time,” he added.

Deputies from Allegan, Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties were also on the go.  There was a rollover in Allegan County involving three vehicles near I-196. Also, 196 shut down after a semi crash.

Fortunately, Ernstes said there hadn’t been any serious injuries from any of Saturday’s crashes in the southwest region (as of 8:00 p.m.).

The first thing Ernstes urges drivers to do is slow down.

“The second is keep both hands on the wheel. Don’t get distracted; don’t worry about the radio, your phone,” he said.

Ernstes added, “Other people in the car need to just mind themselves because you need to just focus on driving.”

Despite how the road may appear, Ernstes said don’t underestimate its condition. That’s now and into the night.

“I do know that it’s supposed to get down into the 20s which means all this should freeze which gonna make it worse. Also, with that traffic starts to lessen, so it’s not as bad, but we’ll be ready if it does happen,” Ernstes said.

To help you stay prepared in inclement weather, FOX 17 has radar and other resources on the website. You can find them by clicking here.