Family minivan hits semi-truck on I-75, gets dragged 16 miles

A family was dragged down I-75 in snowy white-out conditions this morning.
A Michigan family was taken on a wild ride on I-75 after rear-ending a semi-truck in a white-out.

The accident happened when the family's minivan was dragged for miles early Wednesday morning.

"It was a pretty helpless feeling," said Matt Menz. "(I thought) 'Oh my God, that all happened within fractions of a second.'"

They had just arrived at the Flint airport from a Florida vacation. Matt Menz and his family were driving home to Roscommon on northbound I-75 when their vehicle hit a snow squall and rear-ended the truck.

Menz says the minivan became lodged under the trailer and because of the white-out conditions, the driver of the semi-truck had no idea.

Pam Menz immediately dialed 911.

"I just want to get off the back of this thing," she said during her 911 call.

Dispatcher: "How fast are you guys going?"

"I don't know,  I can't even see because we don't have any lights or nothing in here," Pam Menz said.

Pictures show their minivan quickly turned into a snow ball. No visibility, with snow covering all the windows. 

There was no power in the vehicle as the Menzs became trapped for the next 16 miles - and fearful of what could happen next.

Dispatcher: "Still okay in there?"

Matt Menz: "Yeah, we are alright. If the van breaks from underneath us, I don't have any control of this thing."

Using GPS for the phone, Roscommon and Crawford County Sheriff's Deputies would try locate the vehicles, a mission that took 35 minutes.

Eventually Crawford County Deputy got in front of the connected catastrophe and was able to direct the driver to safety. 

An ambulance rushed the Menz family to the hospital - they are still shaken up but besides some bumps and bruises - their dad says they are going to be okay.

"It would have been easier to give into panic," Menz said. "Which would have made the situation a whole lot worse than it was."

FOX 2 is told the semi-truck driver was upset after being told what happened and told police he did not want to drive his truck again.

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