Pickup rams semi, ends up atop its trailer on smoky northern Alberta highway
An Alberta driver watched a pickup truck run into the back of a semi and drive right on to its flat-deck trailer on a highway shrouded in thick smoke Monday night.
Duane Lambert was heading east on Highway 58 from High Level to Peace River at around 9 p.m. when he witnessed the crash.
He said road conditions were good until dark smoke suddenly drifted over the highway, making for near-blackout conditions. Lambert said the smoke was coming from a nearby field where a farmer was burning brush.
“I couldn’t see a damn thing. I was driving about two kilometres an hour,” Lambert said over the phone Tuesday . “It just hit instantly — black smoke, instantly dark.
“You could not see the hood of my truck. That’s how bad it was. I had to stick my head out the window just to watch to see where I was going on the road.”
Lambert said a semi with a flat-bed trailer attached was heading in the opposite direction on the highway when it was rear-ended by a white pickup. The impact was so great, the truck ended up driving on top of the flat bed.
“All I heard was a big ‘bang!’ And then [I saw] this white truck go flying in the air. That thing pretty well launched straight up and bounced back onto that guy’s trailer. He pretty well dead stopped.”
Lambert pulled over to see if anyone was injured. He called 911 and headed out to try to find the vehicles. He said he found two wheels and parts of the pickup on the road, but the trucks were nowhere to be seen.
“There’s another guy there, he’s got a flashlight and we’re like, this thing’s totally disappeared.”
Lambert was able to flag down another passing vehicle, and the driver told him the semi was about a kilometre and a half up the road. Lambert said he’s not sure if the driver didn’t realize the pickup was on his trailer, or if he was driving until he found a safer place to stop and pull over.
By the time Lambert caught up to the vehicles, he said the RCMP and an ambulance were already there. He saw the driver of the pickup walking to the ambulance, and doesn’t believe he was seriously injured, though his truck was badly damaged.
“There was nothing left of the front end. It was totally gone, no tires left on the front. It wasn’t a pretty sight but the guy walked away from it.”
Lambert said he contemplated turning around, but carried on to Peace River for the night. He said he’s never seen anything like it.
“I just wish that farmers would not burn brush in fall or when it starts to snow. Smoke doesn’t rise, it stays low to the ground. This smoke was just instant and it was only for about a kilometre and it was good after that.”
The RCMP were not able to provide details about the crash or an update on the driver’s condition.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.