WAYLAND, Mich. – Around 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, Michigan State Police said a semi traveling South on U.S. 131 near Martin blew a tire and pulled to the side of the road.
Shortly after, police said two men in a pickup truck somehow crashed into the back of the semi and instantly killed the passenger of the pickup, a 23-year-old man from Hudsonville. Police are still trying to notify family of the man before releasing his name.
The driver of both the pickup and semi were taken to the hospital, and both are expected to recover.
The fatal crash caused traffic to back up for miles and closed 131 South for nearly six hours. But according to Trooper Gregory Kamp with the Michigan State Police, it also caused chain reaction crashes.
Less than ten miles north of the fatal crash, police say an SUV slammed into a van, which then pushed forward into a pickup, sending the pickup into another car.
“There were a total of five patients here,” the trooper said. “Four were transported but seemed to be OK at the time.”
The driver of the van involved in the crash said the SUV came quickly and slammed into him, causing the van to flip upside down.
Police say at least two more crashes happened after that. Trooper Kamp said there was a crash on U.S. 131 just North of exit 64, and another crash north of exit 68. He said those crashes were “a series of chain reaction crashes form people not watching where they are going.”