170-car pileup kills trucker from Quebec company on Michigan highway

Michigan State Police say a man employed by a Quebec trucking company has died in a series of crashes involving 170 vehicles on both sides of Interstate 94 in southwestern Michigan.

Collisions happened 2 hours west of Detroit Friday morning

Michigan State Police say a man employed by a Quebec trucking company has died in a series of crashes involving 170 vehicles on both sides of Interstate 94 in southwestern Michigan.

Emergency personnel watch as fireworks ignite at the scene of a fiery crash that closed both sides of Interstate 94 on Friday near Galesburg, Mich. (The Associated Press)
Ten other people were injured and taken to hospital in nearby Kalamazoo, Mich. The crash happened near the small town of Galesburg, Mich., between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

The pileup started just after 10 a.m. ET in the interstate's eastbound lanes during bad weather and driving conditions, which included blowing snow, an icy roadway and reduced visibility, said Trooper Rick Carlson in an interview with CBC News later Friday.

At the same time and in the same area, vehicles started crashing in the westbound lanes of the interstate.

A total of 170 vehicles were involved, some of which caught fire. A transport truck carrying more than 18,000 kilograms of fireworks was one of the vehicles that caught fire, causing the fireworks to explode.

A hazardous materials team was sent in to monitor the fires as well as another transport truck carrying formic acid.

For several hours, police evacuated the surrounding area as a safety precaution, but the evacuation has since been lifted.

MLive, a media corporation that owns several newspapers in Michigan, shot video of fireworks exploding in the crash:

The interstate is expected to be closed in both directions for at least another 10 to 12 hours, Carlson said.

Police are still investigating and taking photographs, after which time the vehicles will be towed.

On mobile? Watch the video here. 

The identity of the deceased trucker is not yet being released. Police say only that he was an adult man employed by a trucking company based in Quebec.

Elsewhere in Michigan, crashes closed major roads in Monroe, Saginaw, Kent and Genesee counties.


  • An earlier version of this article stated that the deceased trucker was from Ottawa, Ont. Michigan State Police, however, confirm only that the trucker was an adult man employed by a Quebec trucking company.
    Jan 09, 2015 3:53 PM ET


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?