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Michigan State Police working to put the puzzle pieces together for massive I-94 pile-up

Posted at 11:11 PM, Jan 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-12 03:23:27-05

PAW PAW, Mich. -- The massive pile-up on I-94  involved 193 vehicles, and left more 20 people hurt, and 1 person dead. A large portion of that highway in Kalamazoo County shut down for over two days. Sunday morning after hours of clean-up, that involved several crews, Michigan State Police re-opened both lanes of that highway.

Sunday night, Michigan State Police met to try to reconstruct the whole pile-up. They say it will take them about a week to sort it all out. They are hoping to figure out what caused the accident in the first place.

“It's going to be one giant jig saw puzzle, and we are going to figure out what cars collided into what cars and go from there,” said Michigan State Police Trooper, Brandon Davis.

A jigsaw puzzle that’s pieces are media and interviews.

“Right now we are using photographs, video, and interviews from drivers and people involved in the crash and witnesses. We are going over photographs, and one car at a time attaching that driver to that car and putting that car to that position,” said Davis.

Some pieces of media the public has seen these past few days will be instrumental in putting the pieces back together.

“I saw the videos, and I’m sure you saw the videos. You have vehicles and semi-trucks crashing into cars at significant speeds,” said Davis.

MSP aren't wasting a single moment of sifting through all the pieces.

“There is about six or seven of us in the conference room right now trying to put it all together,” said Davis.

There are a few reasons they need to reconstruct the pile-up.

“We want to find out two things: was it someone's driving action? was it something outside that caused this crash? We want to put this crash back together so if we can avoid that in the future we can do that,” said Davis.

Also how this crash started is dependent on how repairs will be paid for the parts of the highway that are damaged.

“Tax payers aren't going to pay for a crash that one person did, so insurance companies will be billing people for this crash,” said Nick Schirripa of MDOT.

MDOT and Michigan State Police say weather conditions played a big part on Friday, so the clock is ticking to find out the cause hoping to prevent a pile-up of that magnitude from happening again this winter.

Michigan State Police say that if anyone has any photographs, video, or accounts of the crash to call them at 269-657-6081.