Wheelchair-bound man survives ride on truck grille without a scratch

| 6/8/2007

A man in a wheelchair went for a quite a ride this week – attached to the front end of a semi.

The four-mile ride was Wednesday, June 6, in Paw Paw, MI, just west of Kalamazoo.

Police say a 21-year-old man in a wheelchair was trying to cross a street. At the same time, a trucker in a Freightliner pulled out and headed down Red Arrow Highway.

Unbeknownst to the trucker – who, according to media reports, drove for Ralph Moyle Inc. of Mattawan, MI – the wheelchair somehow became attached to his truck’s grille and was pushed along at speeds up to 50 mph on the two-lane highway.

After four miles – and numerous 911 calls from other motorists – police pulled the truck over. Miraculously, the man in the wheelchair was uninjured.

Michigan State Trooper Mike Sinke was among the first officers to arrive on the scene. He told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio how surprised he was by how calm the man was.

“I approached him and I asked him, ‘Are you OK?’ and he said, ‘I’m fine, I just went for a ride,’ ” Sinke said. “He seemed to be unfazed and not a scratch on him, which is unbelievable.”

But Sinke said the trucker – who is also doing fine – seemed to take it a little worse.

“The trucker was in a state of shock – shaking and couldn’t believe what had just transpired,” he said.

Police aren’t releasing any names. A spokeswoman for the Paw Paw Police Department said no charges have been filed against the trucker, but that the case will be routinely forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review.

– By Reed Black, staff writer