Lucky trucker unharmed as steel beams crash through semi cab
TUALATIN, Ore. -- Jack Phillips admits he's lucky when he sees what's left of his semi's cab.
Police said a dump truck cut in front of Phillips' truck Wednesday afternoon on Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road at Nyberg Road just west of Interstate 5. It caused Phillips to lose his load of steel beams.
Phillips was sitting in the tight space next to where a steel beam ripped into the cab from behind him.
"The only thing that was left was my little cubicle. Everything else had steel coming through this way took out the dash," Phillips said.
The back of his truck's sleeper cab was shredded - torn open when thousands of pounds of steel girders slid forward off his trailer.
One steel beam pierced the cab so hard, it also took out the cab's front window.
"Thirty thousand pounds is what I loaded on. One of the I-beams, steel beams, came right past my head and through the dash and right out the windshield," he stated. "Yeah, yeah, so I was very lucky. That's putting it lightly! Yes!"
Phillips was getting ready to head north on I-5 when a dump truck and trailer cut in front of him. The trailer clipped Phillips' cab. Jack slammed on the brakes, the steel slid forward and Jack could hear it coming.
"I knew that the load had broke loose, and was coming forward," Phillips said. "I didn't know what else to do other than duck my head and hope for the best."
It was Jack's lucky day in more ways than one.
The steel that went through the cab is curved. By chance, he had the curved steel loaded with the end curved away from the driver's side of the cab.
"If I'd have loaded the load just the opposite, it would have curved to the left and gone out the driver's window. So I mean it was just luck of the way that I loaded it today," Phillips said.
Looking back at what happened, Phillips knows how fortunate he is to walk away alive.
"That looks bad," Phillips said.
Does he feel lucky enough to buy a lottery ticket?
"I'm going to, yes," he said. "And the police officers all want me to buy them lottery tickets as well."
Authorities ticketed the driver of the dump truck and trailer that cut in front of Phillips' truck for causing the crash.