A Canadian father-of-three says he feels ‘blessed to be alive’ after heart-stopping dashcam footage shows the moment a semi-truck overturned in front of him on a narrow road and plowed into his vehicle, along with four others.
Chris Willox, 44, of British Columbia, had been driving his pick-up truck on a mountain-side stretch of the Trans-Canada highway at 6:30pm on Thursday when the crash occurred, about six miles west of the Interior municipality.
Footage of the incident captured by a driver behind him shows a semi-truck veering on the opposite side of the road as Willow drives around a corner.
As his vehicle approaches, the semi collapses onto its side and skids across the entirety of the road.
A quick-thinking Willox attempts to avoid the impact by driving his vehicle onto a grass opening at the side of the road, but the path is too narrow and the trailer of the semi smashes into the left side of his pick-up, wedging him against the rock.
Chris Willox, 44, of Golden, British Columbia, had been driving his pick-up truck around the corner of a mountain road of the Trans-Canada highway at 6:30pm on Thursday when the crash occurred
A quick-thinking Willox attempts to avoid the impact by driving his vehicle onto a grass opening at the side of the road
The path is too narrow and the trailer of the semi smashes into the left side of his pick-up, wedging him against the rock
The semi continues skidding for another 50 meters, also crashing into an eastbound semi and three other vehicles – including the vehicle behind Willox – before eventually coming to a halt.
Incredibly, no one was injured in the incident – an outcome the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are calling ‘extremely fortunate’.
Four people, including Willox and the driver of the semi, were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and have since been discharged.
‘I was basically sandwiched, both sides of my truck were smashed,’ Willox told Global News.
The father-of-three says the trailer smashed through the cab of his pick-up truck and caused a considerable injury to his ear.
‘My ear was almost completely off,’ he said. Willox was transported from the scene to Shuswap Lake General Hospital where doctors were able to reattach his ear.
‘Realizing how close that one was, I’m actually suffering from some PTSD, to be honest. I can’t even drive in a vehicle right now, and it’s kind of crazy.’
The semi continues skidding for another 50 meters, also crashing an eastbound semi and three other vehicles, including the vehicle behind Willox, before eventually coming to a halt
Ed Painter of Surrey, B.C, who was driving the semi behind Willox that captured the footage described the incident as ‘unreal’
Police say the westbound semi, which was loaded with grocery products, crossed the double line into oncoming traffic after failing to negotiate a turn.
The driver, a 32-year-old man from Calgary, has since been charged in relation to the incident under the provinces’ Motor Vehicle Act.
Investigators say no evidence was found to suggest impairment was a factor in the frightening collision, however speed may have been.
‘It is extremely fortunate that this collision did not result in multiple fatalities considering the length the truck traveled before finally coming to a stop,’ Sgt. Murray McNeil, Sicamous RCMP Detachment Commander, said in a statement.
McNeil said the crash happened on a narrow, two-lane section of the highway bounded by a rock wall on one side and a steep drop on the other.
Reflecting on the incident, Chris Willox said he feels ‘very blessed to be alive’, but called for the driver of the semi to face harsher charges.
‘I think the driver needs to face serious financial penalties and potentially issued a short-term jail sentence to really drive home how serious it is, and I also think his company needs to face charges,’ he said.
Four people, including Willox (above) and the driver of the semi, were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and have since been discharged
Ed Painter of Surrey, B.C, who was driving the semi behind Willox that captured the footage described the incident as ‘unreal’.
‘There’s some pretty tight corners there … and there’s this truck coming around, looked like he was just flying and you could see he was partly in our lane. I think he saw us about the same time we saw him,’ Painter told CBC.
‘He tried to correct himself and went into his lane but the momentum, his trailer just kept on coming.
‘I saw it coming at me and I got right over to the rock face and pretty much stopped and I couldn’t get over any more and I just kind of thought, uh oh, this is going to be it,’ Painter continued, adding that he escaped the incident with just a sore neck.