Deputies said the truck, driven by Roger TenBrink of Whitehall, slowed down for the backup from the first crash. The car, driven by 28-year-old Alton Corbin of Grand Rapids, did not slow down in time and hit the back axle of the truck.
Corbin and a passenger in his car, 32-year-old Melinda Vincent of Grand Rapids, were pinned in the car. An AeroMed helicopter crew flew both victims to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, where they were both listed in critical condition.
Deputies had to close westbound I-96 for the helicopter to land for the second crash, as well as the investigation and clean-up work. Police reopened the westbound lanes around 11 p.m.