Southbound Semi!!January 28, 2011 | in You don't see that everyday!
It was around 9 o’clock at night when me and two friends were headed to work the graveyard shift at a technical support center in downtown Austin. Needless to say, the Jimmy Eat World and Toadies playlist was in its usual course.
As we were merging into the highway from the access lane, I looked to my left and saw what to my disbelief looked like a truck driver asleep behind the wheel! Head was at a full downward tilt and his right hand laid lazily at his side. Surely, I thought, this could not be what was truly going on. This has to be some sort of bad habit truck drivers developed, pretending to be asleep at the wheel I guessed? There was no way this guy was really sleeping.
Anyhow, we switched lanes and passed sleeping beauty aboard the freight semi-truck until they were both out of view and continued towards our work.
Upon arrival, I was instructed by one of the managers on duty that I was to accompany a tech. on their night routes in order to gain some field experience and possibly fulfill a technician position myself. This was not the first time I had been required to do so, but it would be the one time I wouldn’t forget.
We geared up, got our respective caffeine fix, and headed out. Before I knew it, I was back on the road again, destination — Georgetown, TX. Not even ten minutes had passed since we departed when we suddenly encountered heavy traffic on the Northbound lanes of I-35. This was particularly unusual for that time of night on a Sunday, so immediately I knew something was wrong. At the time being however, I had no idea just how right I was!
We took a couple of detours away from the traffic cluster but stayed on track heading North, somewhat alongside I-35. As we approached the highway once more, I looked towards the lanes and found a semi-truck laying on its side, heading South, on the Northbound lanes, fully engulfed in flames!! There were minor explosions coming from the cabriolet that seemed to shake the ground with each one, followed by debris the size of a fiery baseball rocketing out towards nearby traffic and police/rescue crew, leaving a trail of flames and smoke in its path. There were nearly three patrol cars and a rescue vehicle nearby, with the whole Northbound half of the highway blocked off and all three lanes taken up by the fallen semi.
The whole scene instantly sent chills down my spine as I remembered the truck driver I had seen just an earlier that night. There was no way of telling whether or not it had been that same truck that was now burning on its side on the highway, since the latter was completely covered in flames as high as 5 ft. tall, but it did leave me wondering, – I had just seen a man live his last hour? R.I.P.
City: Round Rock