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    40-Car Pileups Shut Down Interstates in Michigan, Indiana

    By By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist
    February 02, 2013, 11:08:15 AM EST

    UPDATE: A 40- to 50-car pileup was reported in Hendricks County, Ind. on Thursday afternoon on westbound Interstate 70, Indiana State Police confirmed.

    The crash occurred around 2 p.m. CT, shutting down both directions of the highway near State Road 267.

    State police could not confirm any fatalities as of 3 p.m. CT.

    "At the time of the pileup, a snow squall was hitting Hendricks County, Ind. There was also freezing fog in the area, which was adding to poor visibility," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans said.

    "At the Eagle Creek weather observation site in Indianapolis, the visibility was being reduced to a quarter of a mile. It may have been near-zero at the site of the accident."

    Additionally, the air temperature was 25 degrees, likely rendering any salt on the roads ineffective.

    Around 40 vehicles were involved in a major pileup crash in Detroit, Mich., Thursday morning, in a sudden snow squall.

    The pileup occurred along a one quarter- to half-of-a-mile stretch of the Rouge River Bridge along I-75, around 9:00 a.m. EST, according to Robert Morosi, communications representative of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

    "This morning was a typical Michigan winter morning where you're driving and it's dry and then a snow squall hits with poor visibility." Morosi said. "We've also been having northwest winds and low temperatures that limit the effectiveness of salt."

    The visibility was reportedly reduced to near zero as the snow squall hit the area. Snow squalls are developing downwind of the Great Lakes as arctic cold pours across the unfrozen Great Lakes.

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    "In addition to the cold flow of air over the open Great Lakes, there are a couple of disturbance moving through," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. "Those disturbances are making the atmosphere even more unstable."

    The temperature at the time of the accident was in the lower 20s.

    At least a dozen commercial vehicles were involved in the pileup, with many jack-knifed across I-75.

    Some vehicles were totaled, some were just side-swiped and others endured some rear or front-end damage, Morosi said.

    Michigan State Police have confirmed at least three fatalities and multiple injuries.

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