Man escapes serious injury after 80,000-pound tractor-trailer crushes car on I-4

By: Jason Kelly , Steve Barrett

Updated:

ORLANDO, Fla. - A crash on Interstate 4 left a man trapped in his car after it was crushed by an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer.

It happened the west lanes of I-4 in downtown shortly after 5:45 a.m. near State Road 408, Orlando police Lt. Brian Donohue said.

Firefighters spent about an hour trying to rescue the man from the crushed car.

“From the time we got to the scene, to the time we actually removed him and put him on to the stretcher, was just under an hour,” said Lt. Creed McClelland of the Orlando Fire Department.

Photos: Tractor-trailer crash on I-4 in downtown Orlando

 

 

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Firefighters said the man was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Official said the man is fortunate to have survived the crash.

“He actually shifted into the center of the vehicle and that created a little dome over the top of his head where he was and that’s what kept him from being compacted as well,” McClelland said.

Police said the truck lost control at the interchange of I-4 and State Road 408.

Firefighters were able to communicate to the man through the wreckage and eventually through the victim’s cellphone.

“The gentlemen inside seemed to be very calm. I’m sure he was extremely stressed, but he was very relieved when we were able to take the roof off the car and he was able to see daylight again,” said McClelland.

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Large, wooded blocks were used to stabilize the tipped truck.

“We needed to stabilize the tractor-trailer to make sure that it didn’t further tip over onto not only the patient, but us,” said McClelland.

It was then up to Johnson’s Wrecker Service to pull the truck off the car.

“We made him aware of everything that we were going to do to reassure him that we were doing everything we could to get him out,” said McClelland said.

The next step was using giant hydraulic tools to cut the mangled car to pieces.

“We were able to use our standard extrication tools and we were able to cut the roof off and gain access to him,” McClelland said.

Police said eastbound lanes of I-4 and SR 408 weren't affected by the crash.

Westbound lanes of I-4 were reopened shortly after 8:15 a.m.

The crash remains under investigation.

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