Jump to content

Classic Car hit by Semi - Michigan


Recommended Posts

Someone said it looks to be a 42 Zephyr?   http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/08/3_injured_in_fiery_m-14_semi_t.html#incart_river


Recently deceased John Price from Plymouth had a beautiful Zephyr but I think it was a 1941 and dark blue not burgundy.


Do we know who's car this is? 


Heard the car driver & passenger, husband/wife, and truck driver were all injured but alive.


This woman stopped to help pull them out of the burning car:  http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/5862446-video



Link to comment
Share on other sites



Based on comments on that article ... as well as posts I've seen on Facebook, it IS Barry's car.   :(


Barry posted a status, which he made public, about it: they survived.  This link] should take you to it:


Thoughts/prayers en route, Barry & Glynette..............



Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
"I'm on a wheel of fortune with a twist of fate" __ Bee Gees __ 'Alone'
Edited by ScarredKnightfan (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah man, this is awful news...sure hope Barry and his wife come out of this OK...he'd just finished the car and was so proud of it, so sad to have it damaged, but of course their health is the important thing....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, that was us. We're both still in the hospital with major bruises and abrasions, but no broken bones. It's a wonder we survived at all.

We were on our way to St Joseph to show the Zephyr in the Concours we're involved in when the car started bogging down. I didn't want to finish the trip at 55 so we turned around to drop off the Zephyr and still hit the show.

We were minding our own business in the right lane when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the semi barreling down on us. I assumed they would pass but the driver never slowed down. At the very last second she swerved and hit my left rear that violently spun the car twice and forced us into the bridge abutment which flipped the car 5 times before it landed on the roof.

I never lost consciousness but when we came to rest my wife was hanging from the seat belt. I reached up and unlatched her belt and she fell on me. At that point I realized the car was on fire, but my left leg wasn't working. I pushed her out of the car through the open passenger door. I climbed out over her to see flames 10 feet tall five feet from me. Somehow I managed to get up on my working leg, grabbed her limp,arm and dragged her 10 feet from the car before I collapsed.

By that time some incredibly brave people stopped to help. The first guy picked my wife and carried her up the embankment. I crawled another 10 feet before the gas tank exploded, fully engulfing the car. Six people came to where I was and carried my big ass up the hill to,safety.

The semi got sideways and she lost control flipping the trailer and demolishing the cab, yet she walked away from the wreck. The trailer had a load of baled scrap steel. Things could have been much worse. The driver claimed to have had an asthma attack, but made the mistake of telling the State policeman that "I looked up and saw something red." The police have requested her phone and medical records.

We're still in St. Mary's in Livonia. They might release me today, but my wife's pretty banged up, but, remarkably, no broken bones.

The car is clearly totaled. It was great fun while it lasted. I've never been a fan of just sung lap belts, but they clearly saved her life and she surely would have been thrown from the car.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Barry, my prayers go out to you and your wife too. I'm in a bit of a shock to see this post this morning, the only mention on the news that I caught yesterday was a tractor/trailer flipped on 14 and the road was going to be closed for some time and no mention of another vehicle involved at that time. Although it is a shame that the car was lost it's great news that your and your wife came thru this. Scott... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Barry, you and your wife are like superheroes for getting out of that car in one piece.  That's very sad about the Zephyr; it seems our roads are becoming more unsafe by the day.  Best wishes for a quick recovery for both of you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Barry, just adding my best wishes for a speedy recovery to you and your wife.  Interesting that the video report makes no mention of the car being an oldie.  Hopefully there will be a follow up on these pages with the results of the police investigation into the truck driver's actions.


I have an interest in the more oddball cars and I am aware of your interest in the early '30s Continentals as there are a couple here in NZ.  Coincidentally there is an unrestored Beacon for sale at the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Wolk,


Our prayers are with you and your wife; the crash looks horrific.


I was captivated by your story on the restoration and reassembly of the Zephyr.  Couldn't wait for the next episode, to air on this forum.  A job, well done.


Hope both of you are well soon; and maybe start another project.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest BillP

That's a hell of a shock Barry. I hope you have no lingering ailments, either physical or mental. What a sad ending to a spectacular restoration. I've come to believe there is no steady path to one's life; one moment everything is great, the next moment your life is turned upside down and everything you knew is altered forever. I'm glad you are alive, thanks for all you have contributed to the hobby.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It always saddens me to hear of these things. In this case, I am very pleased that the two occupants of the Lincoln were able to get out and appear to be mostly okay.

Any car can be replaced. Good friends? Not so easy to replace. Get well soon!


The following is something I wrote on another antique automobile forum only two weeks ago in response to another wreck of an antique,


"Around here, almost every day as I am driving a modern vehicle, I come up behind other people driving their modern car ON THE FREEWAY at about 45 mph. I AM EXPECTED to not hit them. The law REQUIRES me to not hit them. I figure that if they are allowed to drive on the road, I have the right to drive my T on those same roads at about the same speeds as they do. 

I watch very closely behind me when I drive my T. Beyond that, I really don't need to hear much more about it. If I am to be "expected" to not hit other slow vehicles? Then everyone else needs to be expected to not hit me if I am the slow vehicle. 
I do appreciate all of these threads keeping us all informed about such "accidents" because we all (even me) do need to be reminded to pay attention and be proactive about our safety. 
Hence the sign-off I have used off and on for years. 
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, Michigan changed the Minimum Speed Limit for vehicles on freeways a few years ago from 45 mph to 55 mph. 


Yes, agreed there is a problem with other drivers in modern vehicles cutting off vintage vehicles who are traveling at a slower rate.   We have as much of a right to be on the roads as they do. 


Its unfortunate that being right and being safe doesn't always align.  This is why often we put our 40s vintage car on a trailer until we get on the other side of town.  I-696 aka The Michigan Autobah, its inherently unsafe for vintage vehicles.  Less so on weekends but still populated mostly by clueless,  careless & unsafe drivers.  

Edited by CarFreak (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're the queasy type. Don't look. However, the takeaway if you decide not to look is that you should always wear your seatbelt. They saved us from being tossed out of the car at great speed.

The car was struck by the semi on the far left by the truck's bumper on the far right. It appears that the bumper rode up and that's what started tipping the truck. It's also what save us. I remember the front of the car getting airborne as we accelerated rapidly. That impact is what sent us spinning off to the right towards the bridge. The energy of that impact was used up somewhat in spinning, but we must have been going much faster than previously as Dave visited the site and paced off the distance from the bridge we hit and where we landed and he says there's no evidence of us touching the ground for 120 feet, where we rolled to a stop, upside-down.
Speaking of upside-down it should be noted that this car was designed as the safest car of the time as it incorporated a very lightweight "frame" that has the rest of the body welded to it, and it has unintentional crumple zones. What likely save us, aside from the seat belts was the fact that the car had a very sturdy roll cage built into the A,B and C pillar. You can clearly imagine that from this picture.
This is pretty impressive.
One side spear survived. I'm going to ask for this as a souvenir.
I think the front fender impacted the bridge. My wife recalls the spins and the impact with the bridge to the sound of breaking glass. That's all she remembers. I remember too much.
I think the trunk lid stayed withe the car, but the hinges melted. The towing company found our luggage and my tool bag. The hat box survives, so it must have been tossed out while spinning. All we've lost is a Garmin, a cell phone, 2 iPads and my handicap hanger tag. They were in the glove box. All that was left were cinders and a ball of aluminum.
I feel badly that Dan Kirkpatrick's beautiful interior was destroyed.
The truck was pretty mangled.
I believe the RH bumper tip of the truck is what rode up on the rear fender.
Happier days. Fond memories. Wear your seat belts.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest my3buicks

To try to bring a little levity to the situation - it appears like it will buff out. 


Obviously it wasn't your time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...