I have written before about when I used to drive a tractor-trailer. This is a true story of My Real Life Trucking Accident that almost ended my life.
I drove a tractor-trailer for many years and I’ve hauled many different kinds of products.
My scariest job I had was when I pulled a hazardous material tanker for a company out of Ironton, Ohio. The reason I say scariest is because of what I hauled.
It could kill you instantly or it could kill you in a long-term fashion.
Empty or loaded my tanker was just as dangerous most times. I have hauled poisons, acids, flammables, and some kind of wastewater. The wastewater came out of a reactor. This was “not hazardous” but notice the quotation marks.
We hauled it to a landfill and we unloaded the “non-hazardous” into a pit. The landfill would use a front-end loader that was dedicated to mixing sawdust in with the wastewater. That is all they did with that loader. The seals, bearings and the rubber tires on the loader constantly needed to be replaced I wonder why?
This load, that I’m writing about was 7,000 gallons of ACETONE (A Very Flammable) liquid. I loaded it in Haverhill, Ohio and I was taking it to Charlotte, NC about 350 miles one way.
My Real Life Trucking Accident caused me to not make my delivery
I got loaded about 2 pm on that day and the weather was clear and cold. It was in the winter time but there was no snow here. My route was going to take me on I-64 east to Beckley, WV. From there I would pick up I-77 south for the rest of the way to Charlotte, NC.
When I got to Beckley, WV. I started south on I-77. That is when I started getting some reports of snow in and around Wytheville, VA. So I continued on and went into the tunnels just before Wytheville VA. When I came out of the other side of the mountain tunnel it was snowing pretty hard.
I asked a couple of drivers on the CB what the Blueridge mountain going into North Carolina looked like. They said it was just raining once I got to the mountaintop near Fancy Gap.
So I decided to truck on. I wanted to get down the mountain before the roads got bad.
This would prove to be a bad choice for My Real Life Trucking Accident
The closer I got to Wytheville the harder it was snowing. There was probably a couple of inches on the interstate by now. But there were no accidents and I was still getting reports of just rain down the mountain.
That is one thing I learned about truck drivers. Back then anyway they never lied about the weather. So I trusted them and my gut feeling to continue on. I made a call to my now ex-wife because I would lose my cell service within a few miles.
We joked about how I should have stopped in Wytheville and waited for the snow to stop.
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