One dead in multi-car pileup on U.S. 31

(UPDATED: Tuesday, 8:28 p.m.) A Muskegon businessman died Tuesday after being involved in a series of crashes on northbound U.S. 31 northbound in Muskegon County.
Cheryl Welch
Jan 22, 2013


WZZM-TV reported that Robert "Bob" Cutler, 58, died in the multi-car pileup on U.S. 31.

Cutler was the former chairman of the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce and owner of Muskegon Brake and Tire.

Investigators said Cutler was alone in his car when he hit another vehicle that had stopped on the freeway because of the pileup ahead. Cutler was taken to a Muskegon-area hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

The first call about the crash was received at 10:02 a.m. At least 15 to 20 vehicles were involved in the crash.

Emergency personnel untangled the multi-vehicle crash that happened north near the Laketon Street exit.

Spring Lake Township resident Kevin Kaiser was driving north on U.S. 31 when the collisions occurred. He said it appeared that a semitrailer truck hit something near or under the underpass just before the Laketon exit. People started slowing down, then started sliding.

"Somebody slammed into the guy to the left of me, then someone slammed into the right of me," Kaiser said. "People were sliding everywhere. It was crazy."

Another car spun around to his left and that car's passenger side crunched into the vehicle in front of it.

Kaiser said most of the drivers were creeping along at 25-35 mph when the collisions occurred. He saw about 20 cars involved in the series of slide-offs and collisions, but it was unclear how many sustained serious damage.

"The sounds of crumpling metal, sliding cars and breaking glass surrounded me," he said. "I have no idea how I didn't get hit."

Fruitport Township and Norton Shores police reported that there were several different crashes on U.S. 31 between Broadway and Laketon streets.

WZZM-TV earlier reported that at least one person was seriously injured after a vehicle struck a semitrailer truck. Several people were seriously injured and transported to area hospitals by ambulance.

The roadway was opened back up after 11:30 a.m.





I heard someone died. Is this true?

Cheryl Welch

Yes, QuadCore. Muskegon police are reporting that there is at least one fatality resulting from the multi-car pileup.



This is a very dangerous stretch of road where the highway dips below the railroad bridge and narrows. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and the family of the person who died.


That bridge has not been used for years. It should be removed and that dip to get under it filled in!


I agree with you GH55!! There have been other pileups in that area over the years, even in the warmer months when it gets flooded with rainwater and vehicles go hydroplaning into each other.


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