Woman pinned under semi tells story of survival

Posted at 9:28 PM, Jul 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-22 21:28:43-04

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. -- Natasha Madison is thankful to be alive after being pinned under a semi less than a week ago. I shouldn't be here right now," she said to FOX 17 News.

The crash happened July 16 when Madison's car hit a semi in front of the Tulip City Truck Stop on M-40 just south of I-196. It's a stretch of roadway that has claimed several lives over the years.

Madison's car was pinned under the semi, but she acted fast by ducking down quickly, she said.

"All of a sudden I look down to set my cruise control real quick," said Madison. "I saw the semi as soon as I looked down for like a second. I look back up, and the semi pulled out in front of me and I just rail roaded it. I didn't have enough time to think like, hey I want to be in one piece not two."

Trapped inside the car, Madison said that bystanders calmed her down and called for help.

"They were just like, 'It's okay honey. Just keep breathing, you are going to get through this. We are going to be here. We are going to get you out as fast as we can,'" said Madison.

Miraculously, Madison walked away from the crash with just a few bumps and bruises, despite the severity of the crash.

"I saw the pictures too," said Madison. "EMS took some pictures for the hospital and I'm like, I should be dead. I should be decapitated. I shouldn't be here right now."

Four people have been killed in crashes with semi trucks in front of the Tulip City Truck Stop over the past several years, including a Hamilton High School teacher in December 2013.

MDOT showed FOX17 renderings of their plan to change the way big rigs exit the truck stop in order to prevent another tragic accident.

Madison says change can't come soon enough.

"Make sure that this gets done the way it should be done because there is too many people that get into accidents over here, and not a lot of them are too lucky to be survivors, and I'm a lucky one."

MDOT's plan is to prevent any semis from exiting directly onto M-40 from the truck stop parking lot. Instead, trucks will exit along a side road and reenter M-40 via a traffic signal. The project is expected to cost between one and two million dollars, with work to be done either late summer or early spring next year.