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Trucker relieved no one hurt in I-40 wreck

Posted May 20, 2011

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— A truck driver whose rig careened across Interstate 40 during the afternoon rush hour Thursday said Friday that he's thankful nobody was injured in the incident.

Robert Hunt was eastbound on I-40 near Rock Quarry Road at about 4:30 p.m. when he saw a car in front of him hit a tire and wheel rim that were on the highway. The debris went flying and lodged in the wheel well of his flatbed truck's left front tire, forcing the truck into a hard left turn, he said.

"There was nothing I could do at that time," Hunt, 35, of Garner, said in an exclusive interview with WRAL News.

The rig and its load of vinyl siding slammed through the guard rail, crossed the median and headed into the westbound lanes and oncoming traffic.

"I was just hanging on for dear life just trying to hold it," he said. "I thought I was going to die, and I was just hoping I wasn't going to kill somebody else in the process."

Somehow, Hunt's truck negotiated five lanes of traffic without hitting a single vehicle before ending up in some woods off the shoulder of the highway.

Trucker relieved no one hurt in I-40 wreck Trucker relieved no one hurt in I-40 wreck

Although some debris hit a car, no one was injured in the incident, which closed all westbound I-40 lanes for a while.

"It was a very emotional ride. I was just trying to hold my composure," Hunt said.

Hunt's wife happened to be driving by on I-40 at the same time, he said, but she wasn't close enough to see the crash.

Raleigh police said they don't expect to file any charges in the incident.

"(Officers) just said, 'You're lucky to be alive. (There's) definitely somebody watching over you today,'" Hunt said.

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  • jrfergerson May 20, 2011

    God's almighty hand at work - praise His Holy Name

  • bbad238 May 20, 2011

    If the tire and rim fell into the road 5 minutes before the trucker came along, I don't blame the DOT. Nobody can respond that quick, besides a law enforcement officer. I do agree that the roads are in awful condition, the DOT doesn't know how to fill potholes worth anything. I'd love to take Governor Perdue on a tour of some DOT work, tax payer $$$ right now the drain! I think they do have prisoners out there doing the work, that's the problem. Very poor quality and not done right. And whoever let the rim fall off their truck should be fined big time! The trucker is very lucky.

  • raleighmillers May 20, 2011

    If the state would clean up the highways we could certainly avoid a lot of accidents. The roads are disgraceful! What do we have our prisoners doing, watching TV and doing drugs, awesome!

  • itsmyownopinion May 20, 2011

    I am so glad this accident didn't injure or kill anyone. Kudos to the driver. I hate that section of I-440, particularly eastbound at rush hour. I've called to report debris on the road too many times to count, because I see it as a serious problem. I have to wonder how often I'm taken seriously though.
    I've also managed to dodge a couple of really scary things coming at me on the beltline -- one was a dumpster and the other a cinder-block.

  • mx5gg May 20, 2011

    Betcha that was an exciting moment factor by 1000 for everyone around the incident..... whew...

  • rescuefan May 20, 2011

    Wow! What a great outcome for something that could have been a huge tragedy. I am so glad nobody was hurt or killed!

  • boneymaroney13 May 20, 2011

    How about a pat on the back for the guy! I'm sure he had a little to do with not hitting anyone. Good job.

  • mikeyj May 20, 2011

    THANK GOD! Bad spot bad time. Good outcome. Whew!

  • jenbocock May 20, 2011

    Thank goodness he is ok, it could have ended alot differently, the company I work for & the company Rob works for do some work together, when I spoke with him just after the accident, I didnt think the accident was this bad! Yes, he does have a guardian angel! We are all glad you are ok Rob!!!!

  • Skywatch_NC May 20, 2011

    Truly a miracle!

    In mid April my cousin, aunt and uncle were going to SC and a car whizzed by them on the interstate and while doing so the car motorist hit some truck tire tread in the lane and sent smacking into the front right side of the van that my relatives were in. Fortunately the only damage done was to the right front headlight and no injuries occurred.