February 2011 Archives
Overnight rain that turned to a mix of sleet and snow left a thin layer of slippery stuff on West Michigan's highways to greet commuters Monday morning.
As the commute began, it was an open question as to whether conditions would cause crashes. It didn't take long to get an answer.
5:00 a.m. A rollover on I-196 in the median near the Fennville exit luckily involved no injuries. Minor fender benders were reported at Grand Valley State University and on Chicago Drive at 112th Avenue. And someone landed in the ditch on Lake Michigan Drive at 48th Avenue. Shortly after, a Jeep Liberty slid into the ditch on eastbound I-196 east of the Zeeland exit.
5:15 a.m. The morning also started with a couple of deer hits, something we have been seeing more of as the weather warmed up last week: Leonard Road at 40th Avenue in Lamont and on Warner Street in Allendale.
5:45 a.m. Two slide-offs close to each other on westbound I-196 in Ottawa County, mile mkr 51 and mile mkr 52 near Adams Street exit. This was follow close on by a two-car crash on Riley Street at 104th Avenue, sending one vehicle in the ditch.
5:50 a.m. Fender bender on Riley Street at 112th Avenue. A couple of minutes later in Jenison, there was a crash on Cottonwood Drive at Baldwin Street, but it did not block traffic.
6:00 a.m. Temperatures dropped below freezing, and problems continued. In Ionia County, a driver reported seeing a rollover east of Ionia on M-21 at Turkey Trail.
6:20 a.m. More vehicles in the ditch in Ottawa County: on the ramp from Lakewood Blvd to northbound US-31 and in the median on Chicago Drive at 112th Avenue.6:30 a.m. Another ditching was reported on eastbound I-196 near the Zeeland rest area.
6:40 a.m. In Oshtemo, a crash was reported on West Main Street at 9th Street. Kalamazoo County Dispatch said the vehicles were moved out of traffic flow by 6:50 a.m.7:10 a.m. Dispatchers got a call on a spinout on westbound I-196 east of College Avenue, but the MDOT cam didn't show a problem. A state trooper was sent to check it out. He found it on westbound I-196 west of Fuller Avenue. Traffic was light enough that a backup did not develop right away.
7:15 a.m. This intersection must have been tricky. An hour after someone lost traction, another one slid off at Chicago Drive and 112th Avenue.
7:20 a.m. Crash on 8th Avenue south of Johnson Street in eastern Ottawa County.7:40 a.m. Allegan County became the focus of a number of calls, with a crash on southbound US-131 south of 142nd Street, and a collision between a semi and a pickup in downtown Allegan at Cedar Street and Cutler Street.
8:30 a.m. At 7:23 a.m., @zrojones sent us a Twitter message that streets in Holland were icy. At that time, there were no reports of crashes in the city. For the next hour, however, that's all we saw. At 7:50, a crash on 7th Street at River Avenue. At 7:59, a crash at Country Club road at 24th Street. At 8:08, a crash on Paw Paw Drive at Legion Park Drive. At 8:10, a crash at Matt Urban Drive and 48th Street. At 8:17, a crash at Adams Street at Country Club Road. In Zeeland, onein a snowbank on State Street at the I-196 BL.
A very light snow began to fall in the Grand Rapids area after 4 a.m. But when I talked to dispatchers along I-94, they said roads were completely covered in snow and were slippery. For another morning, just enough snow to make the drive hazardous, but not enough to slow some people down.5:40 a.m. Our first spinout was in Allegan County on northbound US-131 near 135th Avenue. The vehicle ended up facing south in the northbound lanes.
6:00 a.m. Traffic on southbound US-131 was slowed at W River Drive (right) when a spinout left one car facing the wrong way and the other sitting in the left lane. When crews arrived, the left lane was blocked and traffic was slow going past the scene. One person had head injuries.
6:15 a.m. A fender bender at the bottom of the ramp from southbound US-131 to M-89 in Otsego/Plainwell.
7:00 a.m. After an hour on the scene, the crash on US-131 at W River Drive was cleared and all lanes opened.
7:20 a.m. Another driver landed in a ditch: Quincy Street and 152nd Avenue north of Holland.
7:30 a.m. The ramp from eastbound I-96 to Cascade Road was blocked for a time by a car that hit the guard rail at the top of the ramp.
7:35 a.m. Police had to help someone who slid to the left on southbound US-31 at Riley Street in Holland.
8:00 a.m. In Kalamazoo, several slide-offs were reported in the morning. The one I heard on the scanners was on the ramp from US-131 to West Main Street.
- As traffic volume dropped off for the workday, more crashes occurre, but they didn't block traffic: In Hudsonville, on 40th Avenue north of New Holland Street, and in Grand Rapids on northbound East Beltline at Fulton Street.
8:30 a.m. MDOT Southwest on Twitter said there was an additional semi crash on I-94: "2 semi crashes on EB I-94 near Paw Paw. Right lane closed at MM 58 and left lane closed at MM 63.5. Expect back-ups."
I didn't feel comfortable driving above 50, and I really took it slow on the ramps. I planned to make that my on-air mantra for the day.
4:40 a.m. Someone already was in the ditch on Lake Michigan Drive near 98th Avenue. Someone else needed help on US-31 at Lincoln Avenue in Holland. Going to be a long morning.
5:00 a.m. Rollover reported on eastbound I-96 in the median, mile marker 20 between Coopersville and Marne. But the incident was taken off the Ottawa County Dispatch report by 5:30 a.m.
5:40 a.m. A report on a slide-off proved confusing for dispatchers for a few minutes. The reporting driver wasn't sure if the location was I-96 or I-196. The trooper found the problem: a car was blocking the ramp from eastbound I-96 to northbound US-131. The trooper got it moved so it didn't block any more.
5:45 a.m. Slide-off in Ionia County on westbound I-96 east of the Ionia ramp.
5:55 a.m. Way out in the country north of Ionia, a driver landed in the ditch on Stage Road south of Borden Road. Must have been lonely out there until help arrived.
6:10 a.m. Another one slipped off a ramp. A state trooper took care of one off the ramp from southbound US-131 to westbound I-96.
(Right: Slide-off image at 6:30 a.m.)
6:30 a.m. Rollover in Kalamazoo County north of Richland. No injuries.
- Plus, a series of slide-offs were spotted on southbound US-131 between 54th Street and 68th Street.
- A slide-off was in the median on northbound US-31 at Croswell Street in Port Sheldon. Two deer hits did some damage in Ottawa County: 24th Avenue at Luce Street and 60th Avenue at Warner Street. There were several deer hits around the region during the morning.
7:00 a.m. Another rollover in the median near the M-40 exit of westbound I-196 in Holland.
7:10 a.m. A black car landed in the median on eastbound I-196 between 16th Street and Byron Road.
7:00 a.m. A rollover was reported on US-131 SB at 54th Street.
8:00 a.m. All incidents in Ottawa County were cleared. I presume deputies breathed a sigh of relief.
8:10 a.m. So much for a break. In Ottawa County, there was a one-car crash at 104th Avenue and Riley Street, a two-car crunch on Lake Michigan Drive west of Standale at 8th Avenue, and a two-car bump in Allendale on Lake Michigan Drive east of 68th Street.
6:30 a.m. As expected, the morning so far was quiet. Someone slid into a ditch in the Overisel area on 38th Street north of 146th Avenue in Allegan County.
Then things got busy.
7:15 a.m. A woman on 124th Avenue west of Gun Lake slid across the oncoming lane and hit a pole.
7:30 a.m. Two cars crashed at Leonard Street at 148th Avenue southeast of Spring Lake.
7:45 a.m. In Allegan County, a crash on 118th Avenue west of 36th Street. At about the same time, two vehicles crashed on the ramp from Chicago Drive to westbound I-196 in Grandville. However, they didn't block traffic.
7:50 a.m. Moments later, a crash blocked the left lane of northbound US-131 south of Burton Street, which caused traffic to back up to 36th Street for about half an hour.
8:00 a.m. Problems on I-196 between Zeeland and Hudsonville. There was a crash on the ramp from Byron Road to I-196, but that didn't cause much of a problem. But an SUV went sailing off eastbound I-196 and into the trees at mile marker 52, and it was hard for emergency personnel to find.
8:15 a.m. The traffic jam on northbound US-131 had cleared up by now.
This ... Is Brazil. People come and go. Cars come and go. Cars fall from the sky. Actually, this car fell out of a parking deck. The occupants seem okay. The car ... seems not.
The title of this video is "What is that coming down the road?" I can see what's coming down the road. I want to know "why"?!?! Somebody give me an explanation. Facebook fan page, email, text message, Dead Sea scroll, I don't care. Explain this:
The pavement was like a cord road, my car rumbling over packed ice. My problem wasn't so much the bad driving conditions, I can handle that. It's my decision how much space I put between me and the vehicle in front of me. But I have no control over the driver behind me, and I was tailgated the entire time, almost universally by SUV's who, when I eased over to let them pass, rocketed past me to tailgate the next unfortunate driver.
I guess they haven't seen the pictures from the Mecosta County debris field on US-131 from Sunday, where there were plenty of SUVs among the dozens of vehicles towed away.
5:00 a.m. First dispatch call is always to Michigan State Police in Rockford, and they didn't have anything going. That's what I expect at 5 a.m. But the second call, to Kent County, revealed a rollover in the area of 100th Street and Burlingame Avenue. Harbinger?
5:35 a.m. One landed in the ditch east of Borculo, Port Sheldon Street at 72nd Avenue.
5:55 a.m. A state trooper came upon a crash on the ramp from Baldwin Street to eastbound I-196.
6:15 a.m. A Grand Rapids police officer spotted a vehicle in a snowbank on 28th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue. You would be surprised the number of times officers just stumble upon crashes. Twice this morning so far.
6:45 a.m. Crash NE of Hudsonville, 28th Avenue and Bauer St.
6:50 a.m. One in the ditch in Holland, Country Club Road and Ottagan Street. And a crash in Holland at 40th Street and Washington Avenue.
7:00 a.m. State police reported very icy conditions on the ramp from US-131 northbound to Alpine Avenue northbound.
7:15 a.m. A rollover was reported on 28th Street at Breton Road. Emergency units found it blocking the right lane of eastbound 28th Street east of Breton Road.
7:30 a.m. One went into the ditch on 10 Mile Road west of Rockford and east of US-131. No injuries. In Holland, there was a two-car crash at Beeline Road and James Street.
7:45 a.m. Somebody flipped on the curve south of 11 Mile Rd on Pine Island Drive.
7:55 a.m. Yet another fender bender in Holland on 16th Street at Columbia Avenue. And another on 16th Street at Waverly Road.
8:00 a.m. Typical. So many crashes at the peak rush hour time that I coulnd't keep up with the calls. The scanners were all talking over each other and unintelligible. I could only hear key words like "property damage accident," "crash," "off the road," and so on. Locations were impossible to discern.
8:15 a.m. Another in the ditch, within camera range on the ramp from westbound I-96 to northbound US-131.
5:40 a.m. No accidents, with the exception of a fender bender in Grand Rapids at Michigan Street and Lafayette Avenue. Then a call came in for a vehicle vs. tree on Van Wagoner Street at 174th Avenue.
5:45 a.m. Crash in Olive Township on 120th Avenue north of Polk Street.
5:55 a.m. Two cars ended up in the median on eastbound I-96 in Nunica around mile marker 10.
6 a.m. Head-on crash east of Hopkins on 128th Avenue near 12th Street, with one vehicle blocking and a woman injured and disoriented.
7:25 a.m. After scanner traffic went quiet and most incidents had been cleared. Then, a car spun out on westbound I-196 near Lake Michigan Drive, but that was cleared by 7:45 a.m.
7:45 a.m. A call went out for a blocking crash on southbound US-131 at 17 Mile in Cedar Springs as well as a crash on northbound US-31 near Ridge Avenue.
8:10 a.m. Another mishap in Allegan County, south of Douglas on 121st Avenue east of Blue Star Highway.
The problem has been more active deer. Deer hits were far more common in just the last week than the whole month of January (though they still happen on the coldest winter days).
5:01 a.m. Deer hit on southbound US-31 at Bagley Street in Port Sheldon left the vehicle blocking a lane.
6:55 a.m. Someone ended up in the ditch on Federal Road between Pierson and Howard City. Sand Lake units were called, because initially it wasn't clear whether the mishap was in Kent County or Montcalm County.
8:35 a.m. In Holland, a vehicle was reported off the road due to water over the road, 104th Avenue at Mason Street.
Kalamazoo Ramp Fire AftermathCanadian Bashers
What's the best time of day to use the car wash?
4:20 a.m. So, this is how it's going to be? A deer hit already, on US-31 at Lake Michigan Drive.
Received an odd Twitter message yesterday:
"@FOX17Traffic Please use metric units instead. They're far more convenient once you know them. 3 miles is equal to 4827 m."
So. Keep in mind that the speed limit on most Michigan freeways is 112.65 km/hr. (Convenient conversion tool)
5:00 a.m. An officer was called to assist a motorist reported to be blocking a lane on eastbound I-196 at mile marker 56, west of the Zeeland/Byron Rd exit. The incident never showed up on Ottawa County Dispatch's incident report, so it's possible there was no one there when the officer arrived.
7:10 a.m. Aside from a couple of deer hits thanks to the warmer weather, no accidents until now. Someone hit the center wall on southbound US-131 north of Pearl Street in downtown Grand Rapids. But they managed to get to the right shoulder and caused no backup.
7:15 a.m. Crash on Knapp Street near Dunnigan Avenue east of the East Beltline.
Found out about a newlywed couple out on a Valentine's Day date in Grosse Pointe that helped save a family from a fiery crash.
7:30 a.m. Looked like a fender-bender on the shoulder of southbound US-131, but add a state trooper to the mix and, even though all lanes were open, everyone put on the brakes. This caused a backup to Post Drive.
But the scene was cleared quickly, and by 8 a.m., speeds were back to normal.
Schools started closing before 6 a.m. in Newaygo, Mecosta, and Oceana Counties, so some back roads must have been icy or superintendents decided to play it safe.
5 a.m. A house fire on W. E Avenue between 14th Street and Douglas Avenue in northern Kalamazoo County made for a fire scene that probably made E Avenue a road to avoid for part of the morning.
6:30 a.m. My wife called me and reported on her drive southbound on US-131. Driver behavior confirmed her theory: when the weather warms up, people drive aggressively. She has spent the last six weeks driving US-131 between I-96 and 68th Street, and she has not seen the aggressive behavior she saw this morning: fast lane changes, more tailgating then usual, speeders well above the 70 mph limit.
7:00 a.m. Just discovered that a Kalamazoo Chamber exec follows the FOX17Traffic Twitter feed and retweets Kalamazoo-oriented messages I send.
7:05 a.m. A crash reported on westbound I-96 west of the Lowell exit to Alden Nash Avenue. No scanner traffic to indicate it was serious.
The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) has set up a page where you can report a pothole and the location pops up on a Google map with your description (below).
MDOT also has a site for reporting potholes, but no map is connected to it.
One thing to remember: MITA is an industry group. Their purpose is to promote the interests of its members in the road construction industry.
View Fix MI Roads! Pothole Reports from Michigan Motorists in a larger map
The Flint Journal reported that Carolyn Neuffer of Fenton saw it at the Detroit auto show and had to have it. Ironically, the dealer had to get it from another dealer in New Jersey, since GM has released the first run to only a select few dealers. Michigan dealers were supposed to be among the first to get them.
One incident looked worse than it was, but it's a common mistake made by passing motorists. A call went to Muskegon County Dispatch of a commercial vehicle fire on eastbound Skyline Drive. The first officer on the scene confirmed that what appeared to be smoke was steam from coolant on the engine.
6:30 a.m. It was quiet until Allegan County had two quick calls in succession. I sent these messages on Twitter:
- 6:32:"It can still happen: veh in ditch, 62ND ST n. of M-89, Allegan County."
- 6:33: "And again. Semi partially in ditch, 146TH AV w. of 50TH ST, s. of Holland."\
There were moments of confusion on northbound US-131 at the Wealthy Street exit. Two vehicles had a fender-bender and sat next to the left wall. Drivers aiming to get off at Wealthy Street didn't realize what had happened, and stopped behind the crash vehicles. This caused short-term backups on northbound US-131. The confusion ended when a state trooper arrived and people knew to go around.
With temperatures about 10 degrees warmer this morning and a dash of very fluffy snow overnight, it will be interesting to see if folks can keep a grip on the steering wheel.
5:45 a.m. A van ended up in the median on US-31 at Buchanan Street south of Grand Haven. Michigan State Police dispatch in Rockford told me they dealt with a couple of rollovers in the early morning hours which had been cleared by 5 a.m.
6:45 a.m. The commute might be shaping up to be quiet. A two-car crash on US-31 at Lincoln Street in Grand Haven blocked a lane for a while.
7:00 a.m. Heard a scanner call in Allegan County for someone who slid off of northbound I-196 north of the M-40 exit in Holland. At about the same time, there was a crash that blocked the intersection of Waverly Avenue and 8th Street in Holland.
7:20 a.m. In Tallmadge Township in Ottawa County west of Walker, a rollover ended up in a field on 8th Avenue between Lincoln Street and Leonard Street, with minor injuries.
7:40 a.m. A passerby saw an accident scene on M-40 in Allegan County near 121st Street and reported it to 911. Said no one was hurt.
8:10 a.m. I talked to MSP Rockford. They said that jack-knifed semis were blocking lanes on westbound I-94 around mile marker 4. No indication how long before cleanup would be complete, but anyone driving to Chicago would be stuck in a backup.
8:25 a.m. Another Ottawa County rollover, this one a pickup that hit a pole on US-31 at Stanton Street. Initial reports indicated minor injuries, but a driver was stuck inside the vehicle.
5:15 a.m. The first hour of FOX 17 Morning News is usually uneventful, but not so the last couple of days. Two vehicles collided hard in Belding on M-44 where it meets M-92 and Whites Bridge Road. The crash was cleared in under hour, so most people on the way to work weren't affected.
6:00 a.m. The best chance to lose traction in the current weather pattern is on country roads, and the point was proved when someone ended up in a ditch on 52nd Avenue north of Blue Water Highway, just east of Saugatuck.
6:30 a.m. The morning drive went smoothly on the freeways, but in Grand Rapids there was a clog on two major arteries when three cars crashed together at the intersection of Fulton St and Fuller Avenue. The southbound lanes of Fuller Avenue had to be blocked for a time to allow officers and wreckers to clear the scene.
7 a.m. US-131 northbound was slowed a little when someone lost a tie rod and blocked a lane for a few minutes just south of US-131. A Wyoming officer got them onto the right shoulder until a wrecker hauled them off around 7:35 a.m.
You'll find that reason in the definition of "wank" at the Online Slang Dictionary.
I am not surprised that the plate made it past those who clear vanity plate applications. I myself wasn't sure if there was a questionable meaning.
Now I know.
5:45 a.m. A driver hit the median wall and ended up blocking the right lane of eastbound I-196 (right). Michigan State Police (MSP) assisted. With light traffic, there was no backup, but the crash was in a bad spot Someone taking the swing around the hill could come upon the crash scene at full speed. The crash was cleared by 6:15 a.m.
7:15 a.m. MSP answered a call on a one-car crash on eastbound I-196 near Market Avenue. The nearest MDOT camera was about a mile away and pointed away from the scene, but 20 minutes after the first call there was no backup seen at that point.That one was cleared at 8 a.m.
8:05 a.m. Right away, the trooper was called to US-131 northbound at 28th Street. Another trooper made it there first to find the left lane blocked by a two-car crash, one facing the wrong way (right). Traffic started to back up.
A wrecker arrived around 8:25 a.m.
(Right: 4:45am, I-196)
4:50 a.m. The morning started with an ill omen: a semi jack-knifed on eastbound M-6 at around mile market 2 in Ottawa County.
Fortunately, just about anything can happen at 4:50 a.m., and it won't affect traffic much. In this case, a wrecker was on the way quickly, and the accident didn't block lanes but for a few minutes.
5:15 a.m. A guy ended up in the ditch east of Cedar Springs on 17 Mile Road. At first, it was all hands on deck, because the driver wasn't responding. But it wasn't long before emergency crews were called off and he was responding ... to officer's questions about sobriety.
6:44 a.m. Southwest of Ionia, a bus was reported to have slid off into a ditch on David Hwy between Keefer Hwy and Sunfield Hwy, an indication of slippery conditions on country roads. An Ionia County dispatcher told me there were no children on the bus.
7:09 a.m. As drivers hit the road, they immediately began to slide off. One semi ended up on the ditch on Byron Road east of I-196, and slide-offs and crashes broke out all over Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon Counties.
7:30 a.m. Things started to get crazy. A two-truck crash on southbound US-131 at Ann Street (right) sent one of the trucks into the snow to the right of the freeway. No lanes were blocked, but a backup developed quickly that stretched back to Post Drive.
This is a quick video that is informative.
I do wish the state would stop trying to rhyme everything ...
FOX 17 Home
|Date||Time||Incident Number||Responding Agency||Incident Type||Nature of Incident||Location||Cross Street||Venue|
|20110202||4202||0011||OTSH||MotorAsst||6 VEHS STUCK IN RDWAY||BYRON RD||32ND AVE||JAMESTOWN|
|20110202||4537||0013||OTSH||MotorAsst||60 E I196||,,,||JAMESTOWN|
|20110202||5116||0016||OTSH||MotorAsst||VEH STUCK IN STUCK IN THE SNOW IS A WHITE FOU||59 W I196||ZLND TWP|
|20110202||10240||0021||OTSH||MotorAsst||GRAY CHEVY TAHOE IN THE DITCH||104TH AVE||QUINCY ST||HTWP|
|20110202||10741||0022||OTSH||MotorAsst||RILEY ST||80TH AVE||ZLND TWP|
|20110202||11419||0024||OTSH||MotorAsst||RED CAMRY STUCK IN RDWAY||LAKERIDGE DR||S LAKESHORE DR||PARK|
|20110202||12041||0028||OTSH||MotorAsst||CALLER AND AN ADDITIONAL VEHICLE STUCK IN||BYRON RD||40TH AVE||JAMESTOWN|
|20110202||13113||0029||OTSH||MotorAsst||RED 2002 KIA RIO STUCK IN RDWAY||104TH AVE||OTTOGAN ST||HTWP|
|20110202||13328||0030||OTSH||MotorAsst||UNK VEH IN DITCH.||WARNER ST||68TH||ALLENDALE|
|20110202||13605||0031||OTSH||MotorAsst||OLDER MODEL CAR IN THE DITCH CALLER COULD||LAKE MICHIGAN DR||SKIPPING STONE DR||TALLMADGE|
|20110202||14629||0034||OTSH||MotorAsst||TAN CADALIC DTS IN DITCH PARTICALLY BLOCKING||15350 48TH AVE||WRIGHT|
|20110202||14932||0035||OTSH||MotorAsst||SILVER 2003 TOYOTA ECHO 4DR||COUNTRY CLUB RD||ADAMS ST||HTWP|
|20110202||15357||0036||OTSH||MotorAsst||24TH AVE||LAKE MICHIGAN DR||TALLMADGE|
|20110202||15427||0037||OTSH||MotorAsst||GRAY DODGE RAM P/U IN DITCH||FILLMORE ST||120TH AVE||OLIVE|
|20110202||15805||0038||OTSH||MotorAsst||BLACK 4DR OLDS INTRIGUE STUCK IN RDWAY||17685 80TH AVE||POLKTON|
|20110202||20415||0039||OTSH||MotorAsst||PERRY ST||96TH AVE||HTWP|
|20110202||20624||0040||OTSH||MotorAsst||GRAY F250 STUCK IN MIDDLE OF RDWAY||10651 STANTON ST||OLIVE|
|20110202||20624||0041||OTSH||MotorAsst||GREEN CHEVY VENTURE IN RDWAY STUCK||RICH ST||53RD AVE||ALLENDALE|
|20110202||21414||0006||HOPD||MotorAsst||BLK JETTA IN RDWAY, BLOCKING||CENTRAL AVE||E 9TH ST||HCITY|