This is the inexplicably lucky moment a driver survived being crushed between two 18-wheelers in a nightmarish pile-up on an icy highway in Oregon on Saturday morning .
Kaleb Whitby, is pictured looking out calmly from the mangled remains of his Chevy Silverado, after the two semi-trucks smashed into each other on I-84 in Oregon, and he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time — right in-between the trucks.
Yet, despite being sandwiched between the two trailers, and with his pick-up truck’s steering column pressed tight against his leg, Whitby managed to emerge from the deathtrap practically unscathed.
He posed for a photograph, taken by another truck driver invovled in the 50-car pile-up, which left 18-wheelers sprawled all over the icy highway outside Baker City, Oregon.
Whitby described the horrific moments before his unlikely survival in an interview with The Oregonian, saying he swerved to avoid a jackknifed truck, but only to get crushed by another out of control 18-wheeler. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Kaleb Whitby, 27, posed for this photo in the twisted metal ruins of his Chevy Silverado after a horror pileup on Saturday near Baker City, Oregon.
2. The crumpled driver’s cab of Whitby’s pickup was left behind, above, after he was helped out.
3. Whitby was left facing oncoming traffic — including the second truck — and feared dying in the crash.
4. The two big rigs, right, ended up practically sandwiched together in the pileup, which did not kill anybody.
Whitby had been driving up an incline behind the truck for a while, he said, but backed away because the fog was too thick and visibility low. The next time he saw it, the truck was splayed right across the freeway, leaving him nowhere to go. He tried to get around it, but hit the back end and was left standing there with his truck side facing the approaching traffic.
Next, Whitby noticed a second big rig barreling towards him, with no way to avoid him. “I just braced and hoped that everything would be all right”, he said.
Then the crash followed and he was surrounded by broken glass and mangled metal. Incredibly, however, he was unharmed. Whitby, who is a farmer from Pasco, Washington, cut himself free of his seat belt and moved the steering column from his leg.
He then shouted for help and was eventually rescued by Sergi Karplyuk, who drove the second truck involved in the crash. Whitby, now safe, posed for the incredible picture before squeezing out.
After checking himself up, Whitby realized he was not injured at all. He told The Oregonian:
I’ve got two Band-Aids on my right ring finger. And a little bit of ice on my left eye.
In all, twelve people were taken to hospital as a result of the pile-up and one of them was in critical condition on Sunday. The highway has since been re-opened.
5. Whitby was caught between the two trucks pictured above in the icy, foggy and windy crash.
6. As many as 50 vehicles, mostly trucks, were caught up in the wreckage.
7. This mail truck and another container vehicle were badly damaged on the Oregon road.
8. Another busted big rig is pictured on the road amidst the devastation caused by the pile-up.
9. Icy conditions, as well as wind and fog, contributed to dangerous conditions on the I-84.
And here is the scene of the pile-up in a video taken by another driver:
Source: The Oregonian.
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