The driver of a tractor-trailer in Kansas told police he thought his vehicle was “sluggish.” That was because she had dragged a car that crashed into him eight miles, sister station KTLA WDAF reports.
It began early Wednesday morning when a 28-year-old woman driving a compact Kia skidded through a red light during snowy weather and crashed into the side of the truck, police said. The truck driver could not see what had happened and continued through the intersection and onto the highway.
A witness, Samarth Thakur, had salted the parking lots as the snow fell. He was sitting at the traffic light when the accident happened.
“It was probably going 30 to 40mph, and the next thing you know, that car is just wedged under there,” Thakur said.
Thakur expected the lorry driver to get out and check if the other driver was okay, but it didn’t happen.
“We heard a huge boom, there was a loud bang and I thought it would hear it or it would stop, but it didn’t stop at all and just kept going,” Thakur said.
Video captured on another driver’s phone shows the tractor trailer crossing the intersection after the Kia Forte crashes into it, just in front of the rear passenger-side wheels.
The truck then drove onto I-435 Westbound, pulling the car alongside it. CCTV footage on I-435 shows the car being pulled along the highway, with the red taillights visible to the right of the truck.
At one point, another salt truck can be seen driving behind the tractor trailer, flashing its lights to try and alert the semi driver.
“We were honking our horn,” said Thakur. “I didn’t try to get in front, but my friend did. We tried rolling down the windows to slow it down and it didn’t get our attention.”
Thakur said he could see the helpless woman moving inside and feared the worst.
“If she had unlocked from where she was, she could have been hit by those rear wheels. That car would have been destroyed, I think,” she said.
After eight miles, Overland Park police finally stopped the truck. Inside the Kia, they found the Kansas City woman stranded, with the roof of her car partially collapsed.
A recording from 911 operators indicated the woman was conscious, although she said she could not move or get out of the car.
He told police he had left a bar and been drinking but believed he was able to drive safely, according to a police report.
As for the 70-year-old semi-truck driver, he told police he thought he had hit a curb, adding that his vehicle felt “sluggish” afterward.
The investigation into the crash remains active, police said.