I-94 crash victims share harrowing experiences

Posted at 11:36 PM, Jan 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-09 23:36:37-05

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. --  "That's a picture of my car there," said Scott Rogers.  "By the time we got stopped we were getting ready to talk to the guy next to us in a vehicle, and that's when a semi hit us."

At the beginning of the day, Scott Rogers and Benson Baumeister were complete strangers.  But the pair are now connected after a horrific experience along I-94 near Galesburg Friday morning.

Both their vehicles were involved in the 193 vehicle pile-ups that shutdown the Interstate between Mile Marker 88 and 92 for more than 12 hours.

Rogers was traveling on the highway with a friend to have breakfast when the chaos began.

"Just complete whiteout conditions," said Rogers.  "Just all of the sudden everyone stopped in front of me.  I hit the brakes and at that moment I knew that it was just not going to happen."

Rogers says his vehicle struck 3 different trucks before he was able to get out and run to a ditch for cover, a move that quite possibly saved his life.

"Seconds after I got side-swiped by a semi I watched another semi trailer slide 10 feet in front of my car," said Rogers.

Benson Baumeister was heading to the Kalamazoo County Fair to set up a booth with 3 co-workers when the chain-reaction crashes started.

"Once we got out and looked at the damage, the driver side passenger was pretty lucky because it ripped out the panel," said Baumeister.

Images that both gentleman will likely never be able to erase from their memories, feeling grateful for one thing.

"Walk out of something like that, narrowly miss a smi, running over your car by about 10 feet, getting hit, walking out without a scratch by the grace of God," said Baumeister.

Both gentleman are still waiting for news about their vehicles tonight, but were picked up by friends or family to head home.  Both saying their thoughts are with the family of deceased driver who was killed in the pile-ups.