1 killed, 16 injured in 193-car pileup on I-94 west of Battle Creek

All lanes in both directions have reopened

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Police say one person was killed and 16 were injured Friday morning in a pileup involving more than 100 vehicles on Interstate 94.

Both directions of I-94 were closed west of Battle Creek, but the entire freeway has now reopened.


View: Traffic map

The interstate was closed between the Galesburg and Climax exits (exits 88 and 92).

Local 4 has learned the person killed in this pileup is a truck driver out of Quebec.

State police had ordered an evacuation for everyone within a 3-mile radius of the pileup due to a possible hazmat situation. That order has been lifted. Police say residents in and around Kalamazoo County should stay in their homes.

Michigan State police said 193 vehicles were involved in the pileup.

One truck was carrying a corrosive chemical. Another truck involved in the pileup was carrying fireworks which can be heard exploding in this video:


Jon Rudolph was driving a service vehicle when the pileup happened. Local 4 spoke with him after the crash when he was being transported by bus.

"Right now, we're actually being bussed to an elementary school to get warmed up and start making arrangements for alternative transportation," he told Local 4. "The highway is shut down and from my understanding I-94 will be closed for hours."

Video: Pileup on I-94 in west Michigan

Rudolph said he was not injured in the crash. He described what happened.

"I was driving a service vehicle. I was westbound for Benton Harbour and I just got out of Battle Creek, we were doing 40 miles per hour maybe, all of a sudden the semi truck in front of us started going sideways, the vehicle in front of me and I started moving to the left to try to get around that truck, he was sliding to the right sideways. We started slowing down and going to the left and before we could get slowed down enough to stop safely there was another sideways semi in the highway. He hit that, I hit him, and then I got hit from the back probably another half a dozen times," said Rudolph.

He said it first looked like 50 or 60 vehicles were involved in the pileup.

"But from what I'm understanding through emergency personnel there's around 90 vehicles involved in this accident," said Rudolph. "I saw emergency personnel take a few people out. Yeah, there were definitely some injuries."

Stay with ClickOnDetroit.com and Local 4 as more information becomes available.

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.