Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Donnie Darko moment

A little after 6 this morning, an explosion woke me from a sound sleep. I sat straight up in bed. Was it a propane tank? Was it an airplane crash? The airport is directly behind our house. It was a total Donnie Darko moment for SH and me. We jumped out of bed and looked out the front and back doors. Nothing unusual. I looked out the front door again and saw our neighbor running down the street. He yelled "call the fire department! We heard several smaller explosions and were confused as to what they were. We dressed and while I was waiting for SH, I saw smoke rising from the front of the neighborhood near the highway. We started walking that direction. I was scared about what we were going to see, but human nature made me need to see what was going on. I was just hoping everyone involved was alright. As we crested the hill, we saw flames. Huge flames and billowing black smoke. It wasn't someones house. It was an 18 wheeler on fire. The story is that the 18 wheeler rear ended a loaded log truck that had just started moving after pulling out of a driveway. The "bangs" we kept hearing were unfilled propane tanks that the 18 wheeler was carrying. The driver of the log truck was taken to the hospital and we hear he may have a broken neck. The driver of the propane truck never made it out of his rig. They are saying that he was likely asleep on impact. Through the grapevine, we heard the parents of the log truck driver say that their son saw the propane truck driver coming down the hill in his side mirror. He said to himself "you are gonna slow down buddy aren't you?" He never did. The propane truck hit the log truck and they both slid several hundred feet. The parents also said that all the controls in the cab of the log truck were shaken loose. Once the fire department put out the fire, what was left of the propane truck was shocking. The rear end of the trailer shell was crumpled and blackened. The cab was gone. It was like it was never there. You could see the frame and front driver side wheel, but no cab. There was empty space where the cab would have been. I couldn't believe my eyes. It made me so sad to realize that someone isn't coming home tonight.

The family of the log truck driver kept talking about how their trailer is totaled. Wah-Wah. I know that sucks and they will need to buy a new trailer. Isn't that what we have insurance? Big deal. True it will be inconvenient, but it can be remedied. For another family, their father/husband/son won't be home tonight.

Update: The only remains they have been able to recover of the driver is a few bones. The local news is saying that the family hasn't been notified yet. I don't know how on earth they can figure out who the driver was with nothing left of a truck. I just hate to think that somewhere there is a family who still thinks their family member(s) is on the road hauling their shipment, expected to be home for Christmas.

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