There’s news out of Oregon that a man who was sandwiched between two trucks has emerged with only minor injuries. Kaleb Whitby, 27, had never been in a car wreck before, and this crash happened during a 26-car pileup on Interstate 84. On Saturday, paramedics helped him out of his crushed vehicle and gave him two bandaids and some ice.
“Thank God that I’m still alive,” he told the Oregonian. “Now I’ve got to go figure out why.” Whitby says he’s got some thinking to do.
As he was sandwiched between 2 semi-trucks, he was hoping that the pileup was over. Sitting there helpless, he told paramedics that he could move his arms and legs. As rescuers moved one of the trucks, they pulled him out of the wreck.
The 27-year-old farmer was only inches away from being killed by the trucks. Roads in Oregon are icy this time of year, and that’s what caused the pileup. The entire incident went by like a flash, according to Whitby.
This is the crash scene of the accident on I-84 in Oregon.Whitby decided to pass the truck in front of him, but then he backed off as the fog got heavy. As he backed off, he saw the truck again, but this time it was jack-knifed across the interstate. As he swerved to avoid the truck, he hit the back of the trailer.
He remembers the truck spinning around and all he saw was ongoing traffic. Then suddenly, within seconds, the headlights of an oncoming semi-truck appeared. He held on to anything he could, bracing for full impact.
“I just braced and hoped that everything would be all right,” Whitby said. The truck hit him. He said it was a loud noise and then everything was quiet again.
Whitby found shattered glass and large portions of his vehicle missing. He cut his seat belt using a pocketknife and managed to “dislodge the steering column from his side.” As he slowly calmed down from the crash, he started to panic.
“I just kept telling myself to calm down,” Whitby said. He remembered to stay calm since he felt nothing broken. At this point, he just wanted to get away from the two trucks.
Sergi Karplyuk, the driver of one of the trucks, thought he killed Whitby. He got out of his cab to check the damage but was shocked at what he found. He was Whitby starring at him.
“I see this head and he’s just like, starts speaking,” Karplyuk said. “It’s just this guy and he says, ‘I’m okay, I just can’t get out.’ He was just so calm that I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘Are you sure you’re totally okay? Your legs aren’t crushed and your knees are all right? He kept saying he was fine.'”
Whitby had freed himself by sliding out of the bottom of the wreckage and was helping other motorists stranded along the roadway. He ended up in the hospital for a check-up and was eventually picked up by his parents. They gave him two bandaids for his right ring finger.