Police said the vehicle was a large van carrying congregants from a church in West Africa. The van was bound for Lansing.
The injured passengers ranged in age from 8 months to 23 years old, according to police. Two AeroMed helicopters and multiple ambulances were used to transport victims to local hospitals.
Some of the younger victims were reportedly strapped in car seats and escaped serious injury. Most passengers were reportedly ejected from the vehicle, according to medical dispatch traffic.
Police shut down eastbound I-96 at M-6 to work the scene. Authorities had been rerouting motorists to westbound I-96 on an “authorized vehicle” turnaround.
A motorist who said he was driving some 100 or so yards behind the van said the vehicle clipped another before rolling into the ditch. The motorist, who wished to remain anonymous, said the driver of the clipped vehicle told him it appeared the van blew a tire before crashing.
“My wife ran over and had somebody in her lap, a little 2-year-old in her lap,” the motorist said. “These people didn’t have shoes on or socks. There was six, seven bodies on the ground. It looked like a little war zone.”