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Traffic Pileup Snarls Michigan Highway

<p>Whiteout conditions, slick roads cause 30 to 40 cars to crash or flip.</p>

A traffic pileup shut down part of a Michigan highway Friday as an estimated 30 to 40 vehicles crashed, flipped or spun out amid whiteout conditions and a slippery roadway.

At least five people were hospitalized in the wake of the smash-up, most with minor injuries — although one person may have a head wound, Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski said.

"The snow was making the roads very slippery," Mioduszewski said, adding that rescue crews were at the scene and that authorities were draining track-trailers' diesel fuel tanks before pulling them from the road.

Mioduszewski said the north- and southbound lanes of US 127 have been closed. Authorities expect the stretch of the highway between Alma and Mount Pleasant to be closed for several hours. The route is a main artery in the central part of the state.

This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates.

— Daniel Arkin