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‘I thought I was going to die’: Trucker recounts severe storm that tipped his truck 


A truck driver is happy to be alive after a serious storm tore through Michigan and left him trapped in the cab of an overturned semi truck. 

34-year-old truck driver Barry Smith was heading east on Interstate 96 in some stormy weather when a severe storm alert appeared on his phone at about 9:45 p.m. Smith says that within five minutes of the alert, he could not see the road ahead of him and pulled over in Williamston to wait it out. 

Despite his safe choice, Smith says the weather got worse and worse until finally it shook and flipped his stopped truck. Smith sustained serious lacerations in the flip and was forced to think fast in order to escape the wrecked rig.

“I thought it was over with, I’m not going to lie, I thought I was going to die,” Smith told MLive. “I had to kick out my window to get out and get to safety. It was scary. I’m a safe driver, but a tornado? Man, it’ll just sweep you off your feet,” Smith said. “There’s nothing you can really do against nature.”

Smith says he sat on the side of the road in a daze until someone stopped to help him and got him to a truck stop, where he was taken care of by the truck stop employees who offered him food, coffee, and gauze. 

“A lady by the name of Miss Trisha here, she’s a cook, she’s been more than an angel … She gave me a hug, didn’t even worry about the blood,” he said. “I’m forever grateful for her. Any time I hit this route now, I’m going to make sure I stop and see Miss Trish. She’s a blessing.”

Officials have yet to confirm that a tornado touched down, but there is no doubt that storms in the area were severe. Five people died in the storms due to traffic crashes or downed trees, and multiple cars and semi trucks were flipped. 


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