I-94 Pileup Leads To Enviromental Problems

Earlier this year, in January, 2015, on the I-94, in Galesburg, Michigan, there was what turned out to be almost 200 vehicles involved in one of Michigan's biggest multi-vehicle accidents. According to the Detroit News, at the time, one by one, cars, pickups, and semi-trucks came rolling out of a fog about 50 yards from a massive pileup. After coming out of the fog, in the Michigan winter weather, with snowy and icy roads, 50 yards wasn't nearly enough space to safely stop in time. In the pileup, one person died and two dozen people were taken to the nearest hospital.

The pileup also caused environmental contamination in the area, as hazardous materials leaked from ruptured containers and tanks, which then seeped into the ground and flowed into drains. Now, six months after the accident, state officials are still trying to find those responsible for the contamination, so they can have them pay for cleanup work. Officials are going through accident reports, videos, and photos from the incident to try and find those who were responsible.

"We have to go back through and geo-spatially locate all of the individual spills, sit down with the state police and figure out which vehicle sat at which location," said Mark DuCharme, a senior environmental analyst with the DEQ. "The night of the accident, emergency responders noted which vehicles were leaking.”

Among the vehicles involved, one tanker was filled with 44,600 pounds of hazardous liquid formic acid, which can cause throat and nose irritation, as well as kidney problems from long-term exposure. Another truck was carrying around 40,000 pounds of fireworks. Others trucks involved leaked gasoline, diesel fuel, and milk. 

If you have been injured in a auto accident pileup similar to this one, or any type of motor vehicle accident, contact a lawyer at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our injury attorneys are experienced in handling all types of auto accidents. Call us today for a free consultation at 844.4MI.FIRM.