Witnesses believe weather key in deadly I-75 pileup - New York News

Witnesses believe weather key in deadly I-75 pileup

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The crash scene was huge stretching a mile and a half from Springwells all the way to the Rouge River Bridge along southbound I-75.  It took a little more than six hours to remove all the wreckage.

Drivers say it all happened fast and there was little time to react, and even people that did have time to hit the brakes did not escape damage and injuries.

A banged up, white Honda Civic was the Ropers' refuge as cars, trucks, SUVs and semis went out of control all around them.  The Port Sanilac family braced themselves as they were hit by several different vehicles.

"What's the first thing you saw that told you something was wrong?" I asked Paul Roper.

"A car hit me in the rear.  I was braking.  I was going slow, and I didn't hit the car in front of me.  I braked in plenty of time, but obviously the cars behind me couldn't stop," he said.

Paul kept his cool behind-the-wheel with his wife and a third passenger in the car.  All were wearing seatbelts and said airbags also protected them.

"He kept control and we were all fine," said Keitha Roper.

But many of the other drivers on the busy freeway were not so lucky.  From our vantage point along I-75 near Springwells, we could see injured people being taken away by EMS and parents and children being ushered out of damaged vehicles to keep warm while firefighters and state troopers searched for victims.

"We basically had to go to every vehicle and talk to the people involved... to make sure that they weren't injured or make sure that if they were injured that they had access to medical care," said Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw.

Once all the victims were transported, crews started removing the damaged vehicles.

Witnesses, including the Ropers, believe the weather played a key role in the deadly chain reaction.

"It came on suddenly.  In other words, there was a cloud burst that just came down on us very suddenly," Paul said.  "We're damn lucky that we didn't get hurt."

The family told me they were headed to Atlanta to meet a new great grandchild.  They said they plan to rent a car and continue on their trip.

If you have a car that was involved in the wreck and you need to locate it, check with Michigan State Police.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Man sucker punched in knockout attack

    Man sucker punched in knockout attack

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:00:46 GMT
    The so-called 'knockout game' where a person punches another unsuspecting person has made its way to Hackensack, N.J. Police say an assailant attacked three people on the same day. Surveillance video shows the athletically built suspect punch a man in the face and stroll away. The man fell to the ground. Two other assaults took place within less than 15 minutes.
    The so-called 'knockout game' where a person punches another unsuspecting person has made its way to Hackensack, N.J. Police say an assailant attacked three people on the same day. Surveillance video shows the athletically built suspect punch a man in the face and stroll away. The man fell to the ground. Two other assaults took place within less than 15 minutes.
  • NYC Council bill to make kids' fast food healthier

    NYC Council bill to make kids' fast food healthier

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:09:22 GMT
    Happy Meals might soon need to get healthier.  A New York City councilman is introducing legislation that would set stricter nutritional standards for meals served with toys.
    Happy Meals might soon need to get healthier.  A New York City councilman is introducing legislation that would set stricter nutritional standards for meals served with toys.
  • Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:59 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:59:22 GMT
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed the boat's owner in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said. Hogan was reportedly a former NYPD captain.
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed the boat's owner in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said. Hogan was reportedly a former NYPD captain.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices