Safety of I-94 called into question following major crashes

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — In a span of just 24 hours, two major crashes involving semi trucks shut down parts of I-94 in Jackson County.

The first incident killed two people in a fiery crash Tuesday morning outside Parma.

Michigan State Police say the semi truck driver is still in the hospital, and they have not yet been able to identify the two people who died inside their vehicle.

Investigators say they’ll have to rely on medical and dental records because the victims were so badly burned.

Wednesday morning, a Fed-Ex semi truck tipped over on 94 outside Jackson also causing big traffic backups.

So why does this seem to be such a trouble spot for crashes?

6 News asked that question to Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand.

He says there’s a number of reasons why 94 is a trouble spot for drivers.

Two major crashes on I-94 in Jackson County are calling the safety of the highway into question.

“I wish I could say that it’s unusual, but it really isn’t,” Rand said.

Rand says several busy roads and highways intersect with 94 in Jackson County, and the results can be disastrous when all that traffic descends on a narrow interstate.

‘It’s just a perfect storm for something bad like that to happen,” Rand said.

Rand says it’s important to put away distractions and watch your speed.

But also keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles, especially semis.

“Just be aware of that fact that those vehicles are going to take a lot more room to stop and negotiate the roadway. I think giving them more room will go a long way in stopping some of these crashes,” Rand said.

He says plans to widen this stretch of 94 is a step in the right direction.

“It’s coming. It’s on the list of projects. I don’t think a road can be inherently bad. I think there are exceptions.  But the road itself isn’t bad, it’s our driving habits and lack of patience, and driving too fast,” Rand said.

The sheriff pointed out that winter driving is right around the corner, so now is the time to brush up on safe driving.

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