Truck Wreck No. 2
April 11, 2004 started out in a routine and uneventful manner. It was a warm spring day and I was out in the front yard splitting and loading a cord of wood to deliver up Lambert Creek later that morning. I felt sort of a lazy tranquility as I made my sore muscles split and load the old half-ton dodge, a truck which is really a little too small to safely carry a cord of tamarack firewood. But it was a fairly short trip and I wanted to get it out of the way.
As I finished loading the truck I was contemplating going scouting for turkey or just pre- season deer, when I finished making the delivery. Or maybe I would just go into town for a cup of coffee. The truck groaned and strained under the load of tamarack, as I rolled down through town and then on to the highway. I followed the highway up toward Sherman Pass but then cut off and headed north on Hwy. 21.
Heading north the truck began to drift, first one way and then the other, as over-loaded trucks tend to do. I was feeling drowsy and was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. A small white pickup passed me on the left and I noticed I was riding a little close to the center line. As I carefully corrected to the right, the truck overreacted and headed towards the almost non-existent shoulder. I glanced at the speedometer and realized I was going 50, too fast for being under load. The seconds began to seem like minutes as I pumped the break pedal and struggled to keep the pick-up on the asphalt.
I actually thought I had succeeded when the front right tire suddenly dipped off the asphalt and into the soft sand. I gripped the wheel and tried to keep the truck straight but it suddenly jumped back on the highway and then bucked in the air like a horse. In the split second before I began to roll I shot off a quick prayer in my head, something like, “Lord Jesus, deliver me”. Then every thing went black and all I can remember are the sounds of grinding metal and shattering glass.
The next thing I remember as I became conscious was that I was hanging upside down in the cab of the truck and felt like I was being cut in half.
It dawned on me that the seat belt was holding me in the air and that’s where the pain was coming from. For what seemed like an eternity I fought and struggled until at last it slipped loose and I flopped down onto what remained of the cab. Just then some kid poked his head in the window, looked up and yelled to someone, “He ain’t daid yet!” He offered to help but I told him to move and crawled out on my own power and gimped over to the side of the rode.
As the shock began to wear off, a feeling of calm settled over me but with it a strange sense of perplexity. I knew I was hurt (broken rib and punctured lungs) but I also knew that I wasn’t going to die and had escaped being maimed or serious injury. I was very grateful but couldn’t for the life of me figure out why or how I had survived. The truck cab was smashed so flat it looked like a convertible instead of a pickup. Within minutes the medics had arrived and after the usual questions and on scene diagnosis, they loaded me into the ambulance and we headed back for town. More photos below.