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News - Local News
 
Driver: Deceased father saved meTell North Platte what you think
 
Courtesy Photo­Image
Carl Shane Peck, recovering in the hospital
Courtesy Photo­Image
A wider view of the wreck. Click on image to enlarge.
Courtesy Photo­Image
Another view from Peck's facebook.

The truck driver who hit the Hershey I-80 overpass head-on Friday believes his dead father protected him from a fatal injury.

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Carl Shane Peck is the hospital with a broken foot and nine stitches in his forehead, but otherwise is okay, despite hitting the support post of the overpass at full speed in his semi-truck.

Peck remembers taking a drink of a Diet Coke as he rolled toward North Platte, where he intended to stop and rest. He said part of the drink went down his airway and he aspirated. He started coughing and felt lightheaded, and was looking to pull off the road safely.

That's all he remembers clearly, until after the collision.

"Subconciously, I think I heard the rumble strips and heard the impact," he said. "It was weird. It's hard to explain. I assume I blacked out because I didn't see the impact, but it's almost like I could hear it."

When his mind cleared, the cab was wrapped around the support of the overpass.

His right foot was pinned tight. He called the dispatcher on a cell phone and told him what happened.

Peck felt damn lucky.

"I was on the phone with the dispatcher before the first cop arrived," he said. "I told my dispatcher I just totalled my truck. I told him I was okay and I would call him later and tell him more when I got out."

He was talking to dispatch when officers outside the truck were asking if he was okay. 'Yeah yeah, I'm okay, I'm okay,' I told them."

Since he couldn't move his foot, he had to wait until he was cut loose.

Volunteer rescue crews arrived from Hershey and Sutherland and worked for three hours to get Peck out of the cab, using the jaws of life. A medical helicopter was summoned. It landed in the westbound lanes, then took him to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.

The rescuers did a great job, he said.

"There are great people out here," he said. Peck is from Centerfield, Utah and he drives for Hinz Trucking of Odessa.

As promised, Peck called his dispatcher the next morning, who by then had seen a photo of the wreck. His dispatcher told him not to worry, just to get better.

Peck made a wistful request.

"I told him to call my dad, if he could, and tell him thanks," Peck said. "My dad was a truck driver and died from cancer in 2002. But I believe he was there to protect me. I really do."

Peck expects to be hospitalized for another week or so. His foot is fractured in three places and a bone was protruding through the skin. Preliminary surgeries have cleaned the wounds, before the major foot surgery this week, he said.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/8/2013
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