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Semi driver was "in shock" after crashing into bridge on I-94 in Ann Arbor, says witness

Commuters around Ann Arbor continue to deal with the aftermath of Monday’s crash that led to theclosure of Eastbound I-94. Many wonder how it happened in the first place.

Ann Arbor resident Ross Rhizal was driving on Eastbound I-94 just past the Jackson Road on-ramp when he saw the semi hit the bridge just a few cars in front of him.

“Like, kind of a big explosion happened. And then, it almost looked like a cloud kinda came down on the overpass where you couldn’t even see beyond it.”

There was a lift device that was extended on the back of the semi and made contact with the overpass. The truck was mangled, and there was rubble everywhere.

“The rear axle was ground into the ground and totally bent; the wheels were splayed out. The front windshield was blown out. It had flown probably 20 or 30 feet. The front of the truck, when it grabbed, it just stopped so suddenly that the front probably lifted up and just smashed down again.”

Rhizal stopped to check on the driver, who has been identified as a 54-year-old Wyandotte man.

“He was pretty dazed, and I think he seemed like he was in pretty good shape. He wasn’t serious. You know, there was some blood coming from his head and talked about hitting his chest on the steering wheel and seemed a little bit, you know, obviously in shock.”

Rhizal says other good Samaritans who witnessed the crash saw the driver enter at the Jackson Road on-ramp. With such a sharp turn on that on-ramp, he believes the truck may not have been traveling at top speed upon impact.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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