A family is very lucky after a collision with a deer disabled their pickup in the middle of I-35. On June 2 at around 8 a.m., Susan Norberg, 42, and her stepdaughter were driving north along I-35 near Forest Lake, Minnesota. A deer jumped onto the highway and collided with Norberg’s pickup, causing the radiator to burst and overheat.
The airbags deployed, filling the cab with white smoke. The stepdaughter was distraught because her seatbelt would not unfasten. Norberg was able to free her, then had to shoulder-ram the passenger door open for them to escape. They attempted to dash across the road, but the stepdaughter froze up halfway across the road. Norberg ran back into the road to help the child across.
They both took shelter behind the exit ramp guard rail. That was a safe place to be, since minutes later, a scene right out of a movie took place. David A. Haag, 59, was driving his Peterbilt flatbed truck up I-35 and rammed the back of the pickup. It caused the truck to spin and burst into flames. Haag’s semi fell into the culvert at the corner of the exit ramp.
“I really do feel like it was some sort of freak accident. I’m not angry at him. I’m just thankful to Jesus that we are safe. ‘What ifs’ run through your mind. It’s terrifying.”Susan Norberg to the Star Tribune
A new startup company was watching it happen
The entire scene was captured on Minnesota Department of Transportation cameras. That video is monitored by a year-old startup company MNSafety, operated by Alex Smith. A three-person crew works to clip camera footage and sells it to local news stations. Smith narrated the scene of the incident of the impact by the flatbed truck.
“My absolute favorite part of this is the bystander who stopped being “a bystander” and absolutely booked it to her car and successfully pulled it away from the inferno without panicking and safely moved it back without hitting the car behind her. This is someone who quickly evaluated the situation, went all out and helped prevent further damage. This was one of those videos: It’s like it’s wild. It’s going to be one of the most interesting videos of the year.”Alex Smith to the Star Tribune
The reason for the crash has not been made public, as the incident is still under investigation by the Minnesota State Police. They did warn motorists to put away all distractions, be aware of the situation around you, and drive the speed limit. We do not know Haag’s driving schedule, so tired driving is also a possibility.