Southbound US-131 reopens after 40-50 vehicle pileup

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KENT COUNTY, Mich. — US-131 in northern Kent County was the scene of dozens of crashes Friday afternoon.

The chaos started around 3:00 p.m. in white-out conditions. Police said 40-50 vehicles were involved in scattered crashes and slide-offs between 14 Mile Road and 17 Mile Road.

Southbound US-131 reopened just after 6:00 p.m. after being closed for several hours.

Northbound US-131 was closed for a short time at Post Drive on Friday.

According to Kent County Dispatch, a gas tanker was also involved after the truck couldn't make it up an icy hill and was hit by several cars.  No one was hurt.

M-37 was also closed in both directions at Baumhoff in Sparta Friday afternoon.

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    • Kim D.

      Between 8 mile and 13 mile along M37 it was NOT a little bit of snow. It was a whiteout which dropped 3 inches of snow in about half an hour. I know, I was in the middle of it. The ice formed on the road so quickly that cars which were standing still and then trying to inch forward were sliding off the road sideways at 2mph. So take your incorrect assumptions about something you know absolutely nothing about and piss off.

  • Kim D.

    I predicted this in an article this morning. I predicted that even though the county knew that it was going to do this, that it knew when it was going to happen, and that it knows where the problem areas in the county are when this happens, that the roads were not going to be prepared for it and that accidents were going to happen because there would be no salt down to keep these trouble spots from icing over.

    Jerry Byrne should not just be fired, but be prosecuted as well.

    • K.D.

      I sure would support that! I have been saying the same thing for years now, because every year he gives the same excuses for failing to do his job proactively. But the County doesn’t seem to care that people do get injured and killed as a result of this failure, so they don’t can him. The sad part is that even if they did, they would just put someone just like him in his place because that is how the system works anymore. Unfortunately it will likely have to take someone’s estate suing the county itself for negligent homicide, and winning, to change the way the county serves its people. Like most government entities these days, they don’t want to allow the people to be the ones with the power and control.

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