Semi Unknowingly Drags Minivan for 16 Miles
Driver didn't realize the smaller vehicle had hit him during storm
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2015 6:27 PM CST
A police photo of the truck and minivan.   (Roscommon County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – Bad is when you rear-end a tractor-trailer at 2 in the morning during a snowstorm on the interstate. Worse is when the driver of the big rig, unaware of the collision, doesn't stop. Downright terrifying is when you realize your car got lodged into the back of the truck and is being helplessly dragged along for miles. That's what happened on I-75 in Michigan's Roscommon County in the wee hours of Wednesday, reports ABC News. One of the minivan occupants called for help in a panic:

  • “We ran into the back of a semi-truck and he’s not stopping, and our car is embedded underneath of it. Our windshields have completely shattered. I can’t see nothing.”

The minivan's horn was broken, WOOD-TV reports, so the family couldn't attempt to alert the truck driver that way. Deputies finally tracked the tractor-trailer down—16 miles from where the accident took place—and got it to stop, reports MLive. The four occupants of the minivan—Matt Menz, 46, wife Pamela, 47, son Justin, 26, and daughter Jennifer, 22, UpNorthLive reports—were taken to a local hospital for evaluation, but none had serious injuries. They had been on their way from the Flint airport to their home after visiting family in Tampa for the holidays, and were just 10 minutes away at the time, MLive reports. Their 911 call lasted 23 minutes, but, says Matt, who was driving, "It felt like an eternity." (This family survived what may have been an even crazier wreck with an oil tanker.)