The I-96 crashes

08-23-2011

As a community, Michigan State University always has responded to national and international emergencies with caring and support. The far-reaching response from across the university community to the recent tsunami disaster is but one example.

This past Wednesday afternoon, MSU once again was called upon to respond to an emergency, this one much nearer to home: the series of multiple-vehicle crashes on Interstate 96 near campus. Many of us have colleagues, friends, neighbors or even family members who were involved in what is being called the worst-ever traffic accident in our region.

Our sympathies, thoughts and support are with all the members of our Spartan family and the extended MSU community who were affected.

We all can be proud of how quickly MSU brought its energy and resources into play. Within an hour of first reports of the accident, the MSU Police Department set up an on-campus post-accident family reunification center to serve those who were involved in accidents but were fortunate enough to escape serious injury. The center provided them with phones and food (quickly donated by Wilson Hall food services) with the help of seven American Red Cross volunteers. Our police also dispatched accident investigators to assist at the accident scene and established a hotline that handled nearly 150 calls where family members could get information about the status of their loved ones.

They say a crisis often brings out the best in people by bringing them together for a common cause. And in this case, it also reminds us that MSU isn’t just located in the community, it’s part of it. That’s something we all know—whatever the challenges may be, we face them together.

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