Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wheelchair user taken on wild 50-mph ride



Updated: 9:06 a.m. ET June 7, 2007

PAW PAW, Mich. - A man was taken on a wild ride when his wheelchair became lodged in the grille of a semitrailer and was accidentally pushed down a highway for four miles at about 50 mph, authorities said.

The 21-year-old man, whose name was not released, was unharmed but was taken to a hospital as a precaution. He had been secured to his wheelchair by a seat belt.

“The man spilled his soda pop, but he wasn’t upset,” said Sgt. Kathy Morton of the Michigan State Police.

About 4 p.m. Wednesday, a caller told police dispatchers, “You are not going to believe this: There is a semi truck pushing a guy in a wheelchair on Red Arrow Highway,” state police said in a release.

Prank call?
Authorities initially wondered whether the report was a prank call until others called with similar reports.

Officers stopped the truck — wheelchair still attached — at a trucking company. The driver didn’t believe officers until he stepped from his cab and saw for himself.

“When he saw us, he was like, ’What’s going on?”’ Morton said.

An investigation revealed the man in the wheelchair had pulled in front of the truck at a gas station and it somehow became lodged by its handles to the front grille.

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