An 18-wheeler’s brakes gave out at the worst possible moment on a mountain highway in Denver recently. But what could have become a deadly incident was averted when the truck driver used a runaway truck ramp just in time. The frightening accident was caught on a now viral video by driver Jesse Terrell, who noticed the smoke coming from the semi and realized something was terribly wrong.
Terrell had just exited the Eisenhower Tunnel on the I-70 towards Silverthorne, Colorado when he saw the smoke and realized the truck’s brakes were burning up. The semi was gaining speed as it entered a steep grade and Terrell said that the truck had already passed one of two runaway ramps.
Terrell told ViralHog, “I could see clearly that his right signal was on and the second of two runaway truck ramps was just ahead. I muttered to myself, ‘I really hope the driver takes this ramp.'”
Thankfully, the trucker did. In the video, the semi can be seen careening down the hill before veering off and onto the ramp. The truck must have been going very fast as it nearly reached the very top of the ramp!
Terrell said he had just witnessed a similar incident just the day before on the same highway, but in that instance he says the accident cost lives. “I am incredibly thankful that this trucker had the wherewithal to utilize a runaway ramp for its intended purpose as this definitely saved lives unlike the tragic events from the day before where lives were lost,” said Terrell.
Colorado State Patrol later told KDVR News that the trucker did the right thing and won’t receive any fines. “If a runaway vehicle ramp is used for its intended purpose, there are no citations or fines issued for using it. This has been a very common question, including from truck drivers/companies in the wake of this crash, and the urban legend or myth or whatever it should be called is simply not true. If that ramp is needed, we WANT it to be used, and certainly there should never be a fear of using it properly,” wrote Trooper Josh Lewis.
However, KDVR News spoke to mechanic Charles Sergel, who pointed out that the costs for towing a truck from a runaway ramp can be very costly to trucking companies – anywhere between $4,000 to $10,000. But, he too, advises truckers to use them for safety. “It’s better than hurting people,” he said.
Terrell echoed the sentiment and posted his video for that very reason. He said, “I hope this video can be utilized by trucking companies everywhere to show the value of keeping a cool head and utilizing the tools given for everyone’s safety.”
Watch the dramatic video below.
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