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Detroit pileup leaves 3 dead -- including kids -- and dozens hurt

January 31, 2013|By Marisa Gerber

At least three people were killed – two of them children – and several others were injured after a pileup Thursday that spanned a mile and a half of Interstate 75 in Detroit, authorities said.

“It was probably eight to 10 separate crashes involved in the one crash,” said Lt. Michael Shaw, a Michigan State Police spokesman. “There were probably 300 vehicles that were either trapped in crashes or pulled off or jackknifed.”

Witnesses told police the driving conditions “went from good visibility to zero visibility” in seconds, Shaw said.

A witness told the Detroit Free Press he saw a semi-truck rotate in front of him and then a stream of cars plow into one another. “There was a whiteout,” he said.

The accident, which compounded as each new group of cars slammed into the group stopped ahead of them, involved several semi-trucks and happened along a stretch of interstate that spans the Rouge River, Shaw said.

Images from the scene show the damage and devastation caused by the pileup. Amid the banged-up cars, tire shreds and chunks of snow lining the interstate, two people hugged. Down the way, a firefighter clutched a small dog as his colleague pried the dog’s owner from her vehicle.

By mid-afternoon, 60% of the cars had been cleared away and all of the injured victims had been taken to hospitals, Shaw said.  

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marisa.gerber@latimes.com

@marisagerber

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