Local News

Trucker relieved no one hurt in I-40 wreck

Posted May 20, 2011 5:05 p.m. EDT
Updated May 20, 2011 6:33 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.