Jackson County officials with their hands full last night investigating more than 50 crashes in a 4-hour period of time.

MLive.com is quoting Sheriff's Department officials there who say the incidents occurred on a number of roadways including I-94 and U. S. 127 from 4 until 8 p.m.

"The bad areas were everywhere,"  said Jackson County Sheriff's Sgt. Jayson Strebe.   He blamed the large amount of traffic from early Black Friday shoppers as contributing to the problem.

The roads were described as a "sheet of ice" in many areas catching holiday shoppers off guard.

Officials also closed down a portion of West Avenue for a time after several crashes there.  All roadways have since been reopened.

State Police in Michigan have been on beefed-up patrols since Wednesday trying to keep the holiday travel period a safe one.  They'll remain out as part of Operation CARE through Sunday.    Despite their efforts, at least 2 people have already lost their lives in crashes.  12 people died during the long holiday travel period last year.

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