Semi smashes into Kroger in Harper Woods; driver of semi dies in crash

Store reopens on Sunday night

HARPER WOODS, Mich. (WXYZ) - The Kroger store that was hit by a semi on Saturday evening is back open. Store officials released a statement Sunday evening:

"Kroger would like to express our sympathies to the family and friends of the driver of the truck who lost his life when the truck he was driving struck the back of the Harper Woods Kroger.

We also commend the Kroger management team for quickly evacuating the store and assuring there was no threat of harm to Kroger associates or customers. One delivery person did receive injuries, but they are not life-threatening.

The Harper Woods Kroger team is working with the Dept of Agriculture to insure that is safe for our associates and our customers to reopen. We want to thank our customers for their support and patience today. At this time, we anticipate re-opening the store [Sunday] evening at 7:00 pm."

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The driver of a semi is dead after his rig smashed into a Kroger off I-94 and Vernier. According to officials at the scene the driver, a man in his late 30's to early 40's, was hit by another car, forcing him to veer off the freeway.

WATCH VIEWER VIDEO OF THE AFTERMATH OF THE CRASH IN THE PLAYER ON THE LEFT

A fire official at the scene says the area of the crash is nicknamed "dead man's curve." It is a spot known for accidents.

"Pretty incredible to think how much energy going up that hill he had to not only hit the wall, but to hit the wall and go completely through," said Harper Woods Fire Chief Sean Gunnery.

The driver was on his way to deliver a load of Fanta pop. Witnesses tell police they saw cars drag racing around him, and that the semi was cut off before it left the freeway and drove up the embankment.

"This lady that was driving a car, she was going 90 miles an hour and she swerved in front of the truck," said Cora Randolph.

The semi's cab shot through the wall into a storage area where another truck driver was unloading boxes. A woman and her son tell 7 Action News that the impact threw that man several feet into the air.

"He just come flying out and rolling out the door, and he just landed out the door, and he was just screaming and crying," said Donna Hillman.

Hillman said the man named Eddie, appeared to have a dislocated shoulder and several cuts and bruises. They stayed with him until the ambulance arrived.

"He couldn't breathe, his shoulder was killing him, he just kept saying I have three children, I have three children, I don't want to die," said Hillman.

Michigan State Police are investigating the accident and talking with the drivers of the other vehicles that may be involved in the deadly crash.  At this time it is unknown where the driver of the semi is from or what company he worked for.

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