DURAND (WJRT) (12/13/2017) - A pair of rollover crashes involving a fully loaded semi truck and a fifth-wheel travel trailer closed stretches of eastbound I-69 for much of Wednesday afternoon.
The first crash was reported just west of Durand, where the travel trailer flipped. That caused the trailer's walls and body to tear off its base.
Much of the debris was blocking the roadway around 11:30 a.m., leading to the highway being closed.
Minutes later, a semi truck jackknifed and rolled over at the M-13 interchange on the Genesee-Shiawassee county line. The truck came to rest in the median with its trailer torn open.
The truck driver was transported to an area hospital for treatment of unknown injuries. Michigan State Police troopers at the scene were not sure how badly he was injured.
"It's totally amazing because you can see how the drive axles are actually on top of the trailer," said Don Donogahue, who was passing by.
The eastbound lanes of I-69 remained closed in Shiawassee County while crews cleared the semi and its spilled load from the median. Heavy equipment was brought to the scene to offload the trailer's contents into dump trucks using a loader.
Dozens of other crashes were reported around Mid-Michigan. In Genesee County alone, police and first responders were handling more than 20 crashes at a time for much of the afternoon and into the evening.
Visibility was down to a half mile or less as the heaviest snow bands passed over the region around 4 p.m. Snow was falling at rates of an inch per hour or more at times.
Police were urging drivers to stay home if they didn't have to travel this evening so road crews would have a chance to plow ahead of the morning rush hour on Thursday.