Snow squall causes 86-vehicle pileup

/ Source: The Associated Press

An intense snow squall cut visibility nearly to zero and caused an 86-vehicle chain reaction pileup, stacking cars four deep on an icy western Michigan freeway and injuring 25 people.

No one suffered life-threatening injuries, police said Monday.

Some vehicles caught fire and one woman panicked, witness Laurie Devries said.

“Her car was on fire and she couldn’t get out so she just passed the baby through the window,” Devries said. “We kind of got him up to the hill and helped some other people out of their car.”

The series of wrecks started Sunday afternoon when the lake-effect squall created whiteout conditions on a low-lying section of U.S. 31 along the Lake Michigan shore, said Muskegon Director of Public Safety Tony Kleibecker.

Cars were stacked four deep for about 300 yards, Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Johnson said.

“It looked like they played pinball off the side guardrail,” he said.