Driver pinned between semis in Oregon tells harrowing story of his ordeal

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Driver miraculously survives pileup between two big rigs.

One man who miraculously survived an Oregon car crash on Saturday can’t look at the dramatic photograph taken of him pinned between two semi-trailers for too long. “It was dark, cold and very foggy,” as he began the trip in his pickup truck, driving slowly and carefully without passing anyone. “It was only getting worse and I noticed that the truck in front of me was starting to sway.” “The passenger side of my car was facing oncoming traffic,” he recalls. “I put my head back, started to pray, closed my eyes and just gripped my hands as hard as I could on the wheel.” “There wasn’t anything I did that let me survive.Kaleb Whitby walked away with scratches to his finger after his pickup was crushed between two trucks in a pile-up involving more than 20 vehicles in the US on Saturday. I know that I was somehow protected,” he says. “After all of the bagging, clanging and crushing stopped, I knew I was going to be okay.” “If anybody comes out of that, it’s a guy like Kaleb,” his former weightlifting coach Don McCauley tells PEOPLE. “He knows what to do in an emergency. In the foggy and icy conditions, Whitby slammed into a semi-trailer that jackknifed ahead of him on a stretch of the highway about 52 km east of Baker City.

Now that he has — walking away from a massive 26-car pileup in on Interstate 84 in Oregon on Saturday with exactly two Band-Aids and some ice — the 27-year-old farmer has some serious thinking to do. Just one of those people that’s a little different than everybody else.” With the accident in the past, Whitby is looking at his future in a new light – and cherishing family time with his expectant wife Camille, 24, and their 2-year-old son Mason. “I am making sure that I spend more time with my wife and son,” Whitby, who will welcome his second child in June, tells PEOPLE. “I am praying more often for things that I am grateful for. Divine sources did not immediately respond to this reporter’s repeated requests for comment, so for now we’ll just have to attribute Whitby’s improbable survival to good old-fashioned luck — and no small amount of it, either.

I turned back and faced forward and closed my eyes.” One of the truck drivers got out and asked Whitby if he was ok, then took a picture – which has since gone viral – of Whitby wedged in about a 3-foot wide area between both trucks. Hours after saying goodbye to his pregnant wife and the couple’s 2-year-old son, Whitby was headed to Council, Idaho, when the accident occurred, according to the Oregonian.

The Oregonian’s reconstruction of the moments just before Whitby’s Chevy Silverado was crushed like a soda can between two semi-trucks on icy roads, suggest he was a slight turn of someone’s wheel or a minor increase in vehicular speed away from being killed. Sergi Karplyuk, the driver of the semi that slammed into Whitby, was convinced that he had killed whoever was sitting in the tangle of metal wedged beneath his truck. Karplyuk approached cautiously, expecting to find a mutilated body. “I see this head and he’s just like, starts speaking,” Karplyuk told The Washington Post. “It’s just this guy and he says, ‘I’m OK, I just can’t get out.’ He was just so calm that I couldn’t believe it. Had he not instinctively swerved left moments before the crash, impacting the Silverado’s cab more directly, he’s certain Whitby would have been killed. Thirty minutes later, Karplyuk said, Whitby had freed himself by sliding out of the bottom of the wreckage and was helping other motorists stranded along the roadway.

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