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December 05, 2007
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Michigan trooper survives being hit by truck

Trooper: His life flashed before him

Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. —  Scott Wilber heard the skidding tires, turned and saw a Dodge Ram pickup bearing down on him.

He had nowhere to go and no time to move. That's when the 15-year veteran state police trooper believed his life was over, that he would die alongside westbound Int. 96 near Fruit Ridge Avenue NW.


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"I have a new and full understanding of what it means to have your life flash in front of your eyes," Wilber said. "The first two things I thought were, 'I'm never going to see my kids again,' and 'This thing is going to squish me between it and my patrol car.' "

Wilber, 41, is recovering at home with a sore body, but without broken bones or major injury following Saturday's 10 p.m. crash caused by slick roads. He was hit by the pickup, whose driver lost control.

"If I had sticks and a puck, I could have played hockey out there that night," Wilber said. "It was sheer ice. The whole thing was a mess."

The trooper responded to a report of a truck involved in a crash near the off-ramp to Fruit Ridge. As he approached the vehicle, he saw a man walking along the shoulder of the highway. That person's car had struck the truck, which was abandoned after breaking down, and he was going for help.

Wilber had the driver get in the back of his car while he radioed for a wrecker. Another vehicle pulled behind Wilber and the trooper exited his car to see what that driver wanted. He planned to ask the driver to move so other motorists could see his flashing lights.

"I put my hat on and, before anything else, this truck is on top of me," he said. "And, then, I remember flying in the air, but it was like I was not really moving."

Authorities took Wilber to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

"It's truly a blessing and completely amazing that nothing worse happened," he said.

Investigators continue to look at the crash. No tickets have been issued.

Wilber hopes to be back at work next week, but the severity of the bruising may keep him out of work for two weeks. He says police face the danger of being struck by a vehicle in every traffic stop.

Copyright 2007 Grand Rapids Press

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