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County officials, Michigan State Police help dozens of slide-offs
VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Police have been responding to dozens of slide-offs all day, across West Michigan, as snow continued to fall overnight and into the morning.
The roads may look better in some spots, but it is still slick.
Newschannel 3 was graciously allowed to tag along with the Sheriff's Department in Van Buren County, where one team had been called to two-dozen slide-offs Thursday, making for a very busy day.
We were on the scene when Van Buren County and Michigan State Police worked together to push an unlucky driver out of the ditch, stuck in a few feet of snow
"I tried to dig myself out and was pretty unsuccessful," said the driver, Riley O'Brien.
It's been call after call all day long for this team, with each story much the same: cars driving too fast and sliding off the road.
"I hit an icy patch and spun out, luckily I didn't hit a tree or anything, I was really lucky," O'Brien said.
Deputies passed by this crash stopped to help, saying most others stuck in the snow have a much longer wait--upwards of two hours.
"They are put into priority," explained Sergeant David Walker with the Van Buren County Sheriff's Department. "Serious crashes are going to take precedence, then crashes that are road obstructions, then your slide-offs."
And there were dozens all over West Michigan from I-94 to the Indiana line Thursday, with many near the US-131 on-ramp.
"Accidents are the majority of calls we take this time of year," Sgt. Walker said.
An SUV in Texas Township landed on the cable barrier near the Osthemo exit on eastbound I-94, after losing control on the slick pavement.
"Right now we are going 55 miles an hour, and that's fast enough," said Sgt. Walker on the highway.
Crews are out laying down a layer of salt and sand, hoping for traction.
But after her own close call drivers like this, tell us despite the preventive efforts, there's only one solution.
"Go really slow, and pay attention," O'Brien advised.
Despite the layer of salt and sand on the road, it's too cold to melt any ice at this point.
Police say that road conditions are always the worst when it gets dark, and advise that even if the road looks dry, it's probably not.
So, if you do have to go out on the roads, remember to leave yourself extra time and extra space.