911 calls from I-94 pileup show intensity of crashes

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PAW PAW, Mich. — The 9-1-1 phone calls from the huge pileup on I-94 revealed just how serious the crashes were on that Sunday afternoon on January 17. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s office said dispatchers took calls for over four hours that day.

“Oh my god. We’re on highway I-94,” one woman said frantically to a dispatcher with her voice quivering. “Shut the highway down. All these cars are getting piled up.”

The dispatcher immediately asked where she was located and if she was okay. The woman said she was fine and heading westbound. The pileup was eastbound.

“I'm not injured but my car is totaled and I went through the fence,” said another caller. The dispatcher informed him that his accident had been reported by another driver and that deputies were tending to several accidents around him.

The pileup started at Exit 41 and lasted for miles until Exit 46. There was one fatality and a dozen more were injured.

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