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MSP: “Expect the unexpected” in snowy conditions after 20-car US-131 pile-up near Plainwell

U.S. 131 Pile-Up
Posted at 11:48 AM, Mar 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-13 05:33:55-04

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. — Investigators are finalizing their reports after a 20-car pile-up closed US-131 in Allegan County for three hours. Drivers reported white-out conditions at the time.

Dispatchers say northbound US-131 was closed to traffic at mile marker 49 near Plainwell after the crash involving multiple vehicles, and traffic began backing up into Kalamazoo County.

Michigan State Police say 20 vehicles were involved in the crash around 11 a.m. Saturday.

"When there is a large pileup like that, you're safer in there rather than hopping out of the vehicle and going onto the shoulder of the roadway. Stay in your vehicle, keep your seat belts on and wait for first responders to come to you," Michigan State Police Lt. Michelle Robinson told FOX 17.

US-131 pileup near Plainwell

All motorists traveling northbound were asked to leave 131 at the D Avenue exit to avoid the backup.

The highway reopened just before 2 p.m.

The Michigan State Police say no one was seriously hurt in the crash.

U.S. 131 Pile-Up
Multiple vehicles involved in wreck on U.S. 131 in Allegan County.
U.S. 131 Pile-Up
U.S. 131 pile-up in Allegan County
U.S. 131 Pile-Up
Multi-vehicle crash on U.S. 131 in Allegan County

Investigators are working to determine the exact cause. Roads were covered in snow and were slick at the time.

"You want to make sure that your speeds are slower so that you can react to the other cars in front of you and what they are doing. A lot of times people think that you're going 70 miles an hour, because that's the speed limit. But when you're in these adverse weather conditions, you need to slow your speeds down, and take it cautiously and expect the unexpected," Lieutenant Robinson said.

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