- Associated Press - Sunday, January 4, 2015

WYOMING, Mich. (AP) - Snow and ice have made travel hazardous in much of Michigan, causing numerous crashes and at least four deaths, authorities said Sunday.

The National Weather Service said an Arctic front was bringing cold and windy conditions across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, while up to a foot of snow was expected in the Upper Peninsula. Snow was falling over most of lower Michigan as of early evening, with temperatures mainly in the teens and 20s.

Temperatures are expected to drop in southeastern Michigan to highs of about 13 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the weather service.

At this time of year, “it’s not unusual to have a cold snap like this,” meteorologist Heather Orow told the Detroit Free Press. She said a warmup should begin by the weekend.

Two crashes Sunday morning killed three people in western Michigan, authorities said. Two people died in a single vehicle crash in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming, while a two-vehicle crash in Grand Rapids killed one of the drivers. The victims’ names weren’t immediately released.

On the other side of the state, authorities said Stephany Salazar, 48, was killed Saturday afternoon after she went to help four people whose car slid into a ditch in Sanilac County’s Flynn Township. A 20-year-old man lost control of his vehicle, striking Salazar and one of the people involved in the earlier crash, the sheriff’s department said. The individuals in the original crash sustained minor injuries.

A car-truck crash Saturday afternoon on Interstate 75’s Zilwaukee Bridge in Saginaw County injured the truck’s driver and temporarily closed the northbound lanes.

Other injury accidents were also reported Saturday in Oakland and Van Buren counties.

But the weather wasn’t especially unusual. While at a gas station Sunday, Detroit resident Valerie Brock said she was more impressed with the mere $25 it cost to fill up her car than by the coming Arctic air. Michigan gas prices dropped below $2 a gallon on Thursday for the first time in years.

“I’ve lived in Michigan for most of my life,” Brock said. “You just expect it. As they say, wait one day in Detroit and the weather changes.”

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