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Spring snow blamed for at least 4 Michigan traffic deaths

UPDATED: Wed., April 4, 2018

A loader moves sand from a parking lot back to Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon, Mich., on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (Joel Bissell / Muskegon Chronicle)
A loader moves sand from a parking lot back to Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon, Mich., on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (Joel Bissell / Muskegon Chronicle)
Associated Press

GAYLORD, Mich. – At least four traffic deaths in Michigan have been blamed on an early spring storm that dumped more than a foot of snow across parts of the state’s northern Lower Peninsula.

Snow began falling Tuesday but picked up in intensity early Wednesday, leaving roads slick and hazardous. National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Boguth said 2 to 3 inches of snow was falling an hour in some areas before the storm started to wind down Wednesday afternoon.

“It was a really big event,” Boguth said, noting that water on wet roads froze as temperatures decreased before the snow moved in.

A 17-year-old Ionia girl was killed in a two-car crash Wednesday morning on a snowy, slushy highway in Bengal Township, north of Lansing, according to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. The girl was a passenger in a vehicle that lost control, crossed the centerline and was struck broadside by another vehicle.

The 16-year-old driver and the 59-year-old driver of the second vehicle suffered injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening. Both were taken to a Lansing hospital.

A mother and her adult son also died following a crash Tuesday in Buckeye Township, according to Gladwin County sheriff’s officials. Weather conditions and speed were believed to be factors in the crash, which occurred in an area that got at least 4 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to 14 inches of snow were reported farther north.

Separately, a 56-year-old woman from Coleman died in a two-vehicle crash Tuesday night in mid-Michigan’s Warren Township. Local authorities said she likely lost control of her vehicle on icy roads.

Snow is expected to remain on the ground in northern Michigan as temperatures stay below normal, likely into next week, Boguth said.

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