Family of Four Dragged Behind Tractor-Trailer for 16 Miles

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A family of four in a minivan rear-ended a tractor-trailer, got stuck and were dragged along a snowy Michigan interstate by the unaware truck driver for almost half an hour, sheriff's officials said Thursday.

"He apparently didn't know that we were there, and before we knew it, he ended up dragging us 16 miles," said Matt Menz, who was driving the van when it slid into the truck shortly after midnight Wednesday.

The family was discovered to have suffered only minor injuries when deputies reached the minivan on Interstate 75 in Grayling, in northern Michigan, the Roscommon County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

"It's one that we've not heard of before. We've had vehicles rear-ended before but not attached," Sheriff Randy Stevenson told NBC station WPBN of Traverse City. "We were able to get this semi stopped before, at some point, [the minivan] did detach from the semi. Who knows where the van would've ended up at that point?"

"I was on the phone with 911 for the whole time," Menz, who was driving home from the Flint airport with his wife, Pamela, and their two adult children, Justin and Jennifer, told WPBN. "It's a hopeless feeling, a helpless feeling — out of control. You're just along for the ride."

"It is a strange situation," Stevenson said.


— M. Alex Johnson