Accidents Keep Police, Tow Trucks Busy

Saturday it was the winds. Sunday it was deceptively icy roads.

Both led to dozens of accidents around the Lansing area, stretching law enforcement and tow trucks thin in response.

"The road crews are having a hard time keeping the roads completely clear so they're getting real slick right now and we're getting a lot of slide offs," said Ingham County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Hutting.

Hutting spent his way scanning I-96 looking for cars that had left the roadway. He didn't have to look hard to find them either. Ingham County reported four rollovers in about four hours Sunday, frequent enough that Hutting stumbled upon one on his way to another.

"Speed's usually the biggest problem with our crashes," he said. "Most of the time it's the people who realize 'oh I can drive this fast, it seems fine like I've got control of my vehicle.' You might be able to drive that fast, however you can't stop that fast and that's the problem."

Holly Jasinski was changing lanes Sunday morning when she lost control of the wheel. After rolling. her Jeep came to rest at near exit 110 in Okemos. She says the slippery roads caught her off guard.

"Earlier I was like 'I don't understand how people are in ditches,'" she said, "and now I'm in a ditch."

Andrew Brunner too was confident in his car's handling. He switched off four-wheel drive while traveling east on I-96 before losing control and hitting another vehicle.

"It seemed like the roads were clear," he said. "Obviously that wasn't the case. You can't even drive close to the speed limit today."

Deputy Matt Hutting says drivers should drive slower than posted speed limits in snowy, icy conditions, thinking not about how fast you can drive, but how fast you can stop.

"You're going 70 miles per hour, something happens in front of you, you're trying to stop and your reaction time along with bad roads, sometimes you're going to be lucky just to get out of it safely," he said.

Michigan law says a vehicle must be operated at a speed that's safe for the road. Losing control, even if traveling well under the speed limit could result in a ticket.


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