Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just how the hell did he miss it???

I'm sure many readers have by now heard about the truck driver who traveled for well over a mile at high speed down an English road - with a Renault Clio trapped beneath his front bumper! The incident was captured on video by a person in another car. For those who haven't seen it, here it is.

The driver of the Renault has now spoken about her experience.

Mrs Williams had just joined the motorway ten minutes away from her surgery in Garforth when her car was apparently clipped by the lorry and ended up under its bumper. 'I just felt a knock and then I was travelling sideways – twisted 90 degrees clockwise,' she said.

She yanked on her handbrake, sounded her horn and flashed her hazard lights, but to no avail.

'I kept thinking, "Nobody knows I'm here. Nobody has seen me",' she said. 'I tried everything.

I was watching other cars, thinking, "Help me, just help me" – but they didn't seem to be doing very much.'

Terrified the lorry was going to ram her into the crash barrier, Mrs Williams grabbed her mobile phone from her handbag.

'I wasn't on hands-free, but I figured I wasn't really driving the car,' she said. 'I just screamed at the operator, "I'm going to die, I'm going to die! Can you do something?"

'She tried to calm me down but there wasn't really anything she could do at the end of the phone.'

Mercifully, almost a minute after her ordeal had begun, the lorry driver apparently spotted her.

'Suddenly he was all over the road,' she said. 'Finally he managed to manoeuvre us safely on to the hard shoulder.'

After she came to a stop she immediately phoned her husband Rob, 32 – also a vet – to tell him: 'You're not going to believe what's just happened.'

The lorry driver opened her door and asked if she was all right. 'He didn't seem overly concerned,' she said.

'He even asked if I thought he needed to hang around!' Mrs Williams said she politely suggested he did, and within minutes police had arrived and they swapped insurance details.

Mrs Williams says she is now nervous about taking the motorway but is impressed that her Clio survived with only a dented side and damaged tyres. 'It must be a tough little car.'

There's more at the link.

My question remains: how the hell did the truck driver miss seeing a car trapped sideways in front of him for so long? Was he watching a DVD, or texting, or doing something else? I simply can't imagine how anyone could not notice something like that!

Any ideas, readers?



Noons said...

Many truck drivers are so drugged up to keep the insane schedules forced on them, it's actually a surprise this sort of thing doesn't happen more often...

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking:
1. He was sleeping.
2. He was spaced out on no doze or something.

Considering it described him as suddenly swerving around a minute or so later, I am thinking #1.

PeterT said...

Is it possible that he was so short that his line of sight was blocked close to the front of his vehicle? I know I see women (and very short men) stop well short of the stop line at traffic lights because they can't see anything closer than 15 feet (it's blocked by the hood/dash).

Anonymous said...

Plus, those Euro truck cabs are so high off the ground. But they usually have the short front ends (the driver sits on the engine, instead of the engine being out front).

But basically, yeah, I'm thinking a combination of "drugs" and exhaustion . .

B Woodman

Phillip said...

I have a friend who drives a semi, and I recently got a chance to ride with him. Depending on the setup of the hood, you cannot see anything that is closer than about seven feet from your hood.

As for the noise, some of those trucks can be so noisy that this wouldn't be excessive, and some are so well insulated you can't hear that sort of thing.

tpmoney said...

I would like to also add that "The Mind Boggles" at the statement "'I wasn't on hands-free, but I figured I wasn't really driving the car,'". I realize that when you're in a life threatening situation that your mind thinks some weird things, but I can't imagine anyone in their right mind would fault her for not using the hands free setup as she's barreling out of control down the highway.

Anonymous said...

This sort of thing happened to a guy in a wheelchair not that long ago. I don't think it was highway speed, but I'd be pretty good and terrified just the same.