Truck Right Beside Me Went Under An Overpass Too Low

Today I had a photoshoot with the lovely Terra Jean downtown Vancouver, helping out my friend Danielle who is working to break into the makeup artist business. Headed down there mid-afternoon with my friend Len and did the shoot over the next few hours. Two models, a makeup artist, a location of a hot tub in an apartment building, and three photographers. Things went great and the shoot was awesome.

We left late, around 8:30 or so and headed back home. I took Len back to Surrey and we had a bit to eat (sushi of course) before I dropped him at home and then headed home myself around 9:15 or so. A late day yes, but not so late that I couldn’t get home for a decent night’s sleep and a bit of relaxation time post-shoot to catch up on The Internet.

This is where things started going wrong, and where the real story starts.

Driving home down the number 1 I took the 264th exit as I always do. As I was driving along the exit, which as anyone here knows goes parallel to the highway for a bit, under and overpass and the loops around to the exit. A bit ahead of me on the highway in the outside lane was a truck and trailer (later I found out it was actually a truck with a big flatbed on it with a Ben & Jerries truck on top of that.

View Larger Map

So on the exit, minding my own business with the truck beside and ahead of me. We hit the overpass except it hits the overpass. You know how you see videos of it happening on the internet or on spoof reels? Well, that happened right beside me.

Kinda like this:

Kinda like that, except way more violent and with way more debris. Whatever the top of the truck is made of it basically exploded all over the road, and because of the angle of the the overpass, it all sprayed directly to the right, i.e.: right at me. I swerved and braked and thought “Oh wow” or words to that effect.

The car was fine I thought so I pulled over, and did notice that there was a bit of an odd sound. I got out of the car, as did the couple of cars behind me, and found that a chunk of girder from the top of the truck had embedded itself in my front quarter panel where the headlight is. Youch!

Car Damage

A bit of a closer view:

Car Damage

Luckily I didn’t think until later what would have happened if that chunk of girder had hit the windshield or drivers window!

A few things were going through my head, some I’m a bit ashamed of

  • I wish the light was better so I could get some better pictures
  • Wow I’m really glad that I just renewed my insurance
  • Holy crap I can’t believe that just happened, I wish I had a video camera out I could become an internet star!

So no damage to me, just the car luckily. I called the police, talked to the guys behind me (who also had many four letter variations on “oh wow, I can’t believe that happened”. It really was like something out of a movie. The guy driving the truck pulled over a couple of hundred meters up the road and eventually wandered back, fairly calm I thought for someone who had just had the top of his truck ripped off, and said “I thought I was ok till number 3 road”.

When the cops showed up statements were taken (writing? with a pen? Analog? How arcane!) and he said that he was working on a stolen car up the road a bit and had noticed the flashing “over height” lights that are supposed to warn truckers when the system detects that they’re too high to fit under an upcoming over pass.

When I finally drove away around 11:45 after statements were given, I had (finally) managed to yank the girder out of my car and a few more pictures were taken of the aftermath things had calmed down a little, but because an overpass was hit there were structural engineers on sight working on things and a few other police cars with lights on, people working to clear the debris off the road, and other fun stuff.

Road Debirs

Tomorrow (technically today) I’ll have to deal with ICBC and get an appointment to get my car in (which is drivable but is definitely making a throaty noise it wasn’t making before, probably due to chunks of the headlight now several inches close to the engine than it was before), figure how much things are going to cost, and do all the other fun stuff that dealing with car accidents involves.

Thanks to all my friends on Facebook and Twitter who popped up to offer tools, ride, and express happiness that I wasn’t road pizza.