Mareena Fukui, 18, was a passenger in the black SUV and said she and her five friends were heading to The Lakes Mall when a blue truck rammed into them.
She said they were tossed into the electrical box and then people ran up to them telling them to get out of the vehicle because of a fire concern.
“The box started smoking,” she said. “We were a little shook up. It was kind of scary.”
When hit, the large electrical box sparked and power went out in a roughly four-block radius. Half of The Lakes Mall remained without power, while the other half briefly blinked out and then had its power restored within a minute or two.
Fukui stood outside the vehicle with her friends as officials secured the scene and interviewed the drivers and passengers. The driver of the SUV, Brittany Lewis, 19, of Muskegon, said the SUV is her grandmother’s vehicle and she didn’t see the truck “until they hit me.”
Firefighters from Fruitport Township responded to several fire alarms and the crash. A report of a small fire at Burger King sent at least three fire trucks to that location, but it turned out to be little more than an electrical short, a fireman said.
The power remained out even after fire trucks left the scene at about 8:15 p.m. Cars at the busy intersections stopped and treated them as a four-way stops. There were no reports of additional collisions as of 8 p.m.
Power was out at the Sears half of the mall, Buffalo Wild Wings, Best Buy, Menards, the Meijer gas station, the Qdoba and Verizon Wireless plaza, Golden Corral, and a variety of other restaurants and businesses. Employees streamed out of the businesses, and customers returned to their cars.
Consumers Energy was called to the scene.