Four days after Thanksgiving, Ray Mehovic found another reason to be thankful.
The Roseville semi-truck driver was driving his empty trailer home Monday during the evening rush hour when his rig was struck by a CN train in Fraser. However, Mehovic — and a few other motorists — walked away without any injuries.
“Thank God, nobody got hurt,” he said.
Mehovic, who was born in the former Yugoslavia and speaks broken English, wasn’t able to fully explain what had happened.
“This is just hard to describe…I’m having difficulty,” he said.
The incident happened on Utica Road just north of Groesbeck Highway about 5:30 p.m. Witnesses said traffic on southbound Utica was snarled bumper-to-bumper due to an existing accident when the train pulling an unknown number of cars approached the vehicles.
Motorists inched their way away from the railroad crossing as the train smashed into the truck, which caused a chain reaction. Mehovic’s truck jackknifed and hit a heating and cooling vehicle in front of it, which then struck the rear of a car stopped in traffic.
Mehovic said the train’s warning whistle blew too late to alert him to move his rig, which was still on the tracks.
Several utility lines — power and communication wires, police at the scene said — were knocked down in the collision.
Some of the sparking wires from a transformer landed on the car Jeanine Dewuaneler was driving, destroying the windshield.
“The semi hit a truck, which hit me from behind and the wires came falling down,” said Dewuaneler of St. Clair Shores, who was on her way home from work. “Then the windshield just exploded. There were a bunch of explosions. It was very scary.”
Dewuaneler was not hurt in the incident. She called her husband to come to pick her up as her car was being towed away.
DTE Energy and AT&T crews arrived to begin making repairs. None of the nearby businesses appeared to have lost power in the crash.