Woman survives after car is dragged by semi - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Woman survives after car is dragged by semi

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(KWWL) -

A Cedar Falls woman survives, walking away with only minor bruises after her SUV is dragged underneath a semi-truck. Evansdale police say the driver of the SUV, who hit the semi-truck, was distracted while driving. 

The accident happened before 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, after the semi driver exited Evansdale Drive to get on the interstate. 

Police say the driver told them he was trying to get up to speed when he felt a jolt from behind. He thought he blew a tire so he slowed down to pull over.

Once he did, he realized what had happened. 

Officers say 40-year-old Heather Gilroy was driving, when she looked down at her phone. When she looked up, she found herself stuck under a semi truck, and trapped inside her SUV. Police say the SUV rear-ended the semi which then dragged it about 500 feet.

But to her horror, it didn't stop there. Evansdale Police Sgt. Ryan Weber, who responded to the accident, says the semi dragged her SUV for several hundred feet. 

"He thought he blew a tire," said Sgt. Weber. "So he had drove about five hundred feet before he could pull over dragging the car with him. And he didn't realize that's what it was. Airbags had gone up, the windshield was destroyed."

Police believe the SUV could've gone all the way under the semi if not for a safety bar under the truck, which likely saved her life. 

"It stops the car from completely going under," said Weber. "And that's exactly what it did. Otherwise the car would've been more than likely completely under the trailer."

Officers say the woman was conscious and talking to emergency crews when she was pulled from the vehicle and taken to the hospital.

"With the safety bars, and the design of the cars these days, everything did it's job and she was able to walk away," said Weber. 

Evansdale police say these images should be a cautionary tale for other drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. 

Police also want to remind drivers that the area of Evansdale Drive near I380 is one that is heavily traveled by truck drivers. They want drivers to be aware as they travel, that it takes these semi-drivers longer to speed up and slow down as they're entering and exiting the Interstate. 

The driver of the SUV has not been cited for a ticket at this time. 

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