DORR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It was an astonishing sight along US-131 near Dorr Thursday as a car launched in to the air over an overpass.
“As I was exiting coming up to the stop sign, I heard a thump, and I just happened to look up to my left and I saw the car flying over the bridge to the other side of the road,” witness Mike Rodriguez said.
It happened just after 2 p.m. on the southbound side of the highway at 142nd Avenue in Dorr Township. A surveillance camera from a nearby business captured images of the airborne car.
Witnesses told News 8 that they saw the car veer off the road. From there, Michigan State Police said, it drove up the dirt embankment at the off-ramp, flew over the overpass, hit a road sign and landed on the other side between the highway and the on-ramp. It ended up on its side.
“It was very fortunate that the trailer in front of me went to the right instead of the left because if he had gone to the left, he definitely would have hit him,” Rodriguez said.
The driver, witnesses said, crawled out of the back window. He had a deep cut on his head but seemed to be alert. They did not see any other injuries. MSP said the driver’s injuries are not considered life-threatening.
“How he walked away from this… and survived it. I mean, somebody was definitely watching out over him,” Rodriguez said.
Witnesses initially feared there was a child in the car because they spotted a car seat in the back. But the driver quickly assured them no one else was in the car at the time.
“It was kind of a scary moment there,” Rodriguez said.
The driver was the only person injured in the incident.
When News 8 found the car Friday, the back driver’s side was crushed and the rear window gone. The front passenger’s side appeared to have been torn away.
The vehicle had temporary license plates out of Indiana.
MSP said the driver, a 25-year-old from Kalamazoo, appeared to have been drinking. He was taken to the hospital to be checked out and for a blood test to determine whether he was above the legal limit. MSP said it is seeking drunken driving charges.
“Drunk driving is still dangerous/unlawful!” MSP tweeted Friday. “Put the keys down or get a #DesignatedDriver.”
News 8 is not using the driver’s name because he has yet to be officially charged.
State police records show he has a history of substance abuse as well as a prior arrest for drunken driving and convictions for a felony drug offense and fleeing police. His driving record shows two prior crashes, including one in which he was cited for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.
His license was suspended in March 2021.
Video courtesy Mark Huizinga/Huizinga Rebuilding & Truck Parts, Inc.
~News 8’s Susan Samples contributed to this report.
Correction: A previous version of this story said that the driver was convicted for drunken driving. This is not true, he was arrested. We regret the error which has been fixed.