LAPEER TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Whiteout snow conditions were blamed for a massive vehicle pileup that closed part of a freeway in Lapeer County on Sunday, police said.
The incident occurred about 2:20 p.m. on Interstate 69 just south of Lapeer during heavy snowfall.
The crash involved 20 cars and four semitrailer trucks, said Scott Richardson, a spokesman for the county Office of Emergency Management. Twelve people were taken to area hospitals with unknown injuries but no fatalities were reported, he said.
The pileup forced the closure of a five-mile stretch of both the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-69 about 50 miles north of Detroit. The eastbound lanes reopened shortly before 5 p.m. and the westbound lanes reopened at 6:10 p.m., Richardson said.
Public warming shelters were opened at the Lapeer fire hall and a county ambulance station, Richardson said.
Heavier snow was falling north of Lapeer County. The National Weather Service said six to 10 inches of snow was likely by Sunday night in Huron County at the tip of Lower Michigan's Thumb region, with three to five inches of snow was expected in Sanilac and St. Clair counties.
The worst weather was developing in southwest Lower Michigan, where one to two feet of snow was possible by Sunday night in Berrien County just north of the Indiana line. Forecasters said four to eight inches of snow was possible in the northwest Lower Peninsula.