After a massive crash on I-84 last Saturday just inside the Idaho-Oregon border, one man described how he survived unscathed after his vehicle was pinned between two semi-trucks.
Kaleb Whitby, a 27-year-old father, was one of 26 vehicles involved in the massive pileup on I-84 eastbound, several miles outside Baker City.
In an interview with CNN, Whitby described his pickup flipping upside-down when he crashed into the back of a jackknifed semi-truck. Immediately after, he saw the headlights of another oncoming vehicle.
“When I saw those lights coming, I knew he was going to hit me,” said Whitby. “And then I closed my eyes and prayed that everything [would] turn out OK. That was all I could do.”
Whitby braced himself as he heard breaking glass and crunching metal around him. He was sure his life was about to end.
“I do believe, and I’m very firm in that. I just held on to the wheel as tight as I could, tucked my head and just kept praying the whole time,” he said. “After he hit, I just hoped that it would be over with soon.”
Once it was silent, Whitby began trying to free himself. With the help of a few others, he escaped his vehicle, suffering only a bruised eye and scratched-up arm.
Before being pulled to safety, Whitby granted Sergi Karplyuk permission to snap a photo of him in his crushed pickup.
“I don’t have the answers, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now,” said Whitby. “When things like that happen. . . it is a miracle I need to take that into my life and remember. And now I need to figure out who I need to be in this life and what I need to accomplish.”
He continued, “How many people don’t get the chance—a second chance—at escaping a situation like that?”
A total of 12 people were injured in the crash, including 4 that left the site in critical condition; however there were no fatalities.
Authorities speculate the accidents were due to black-ice on the roadway. Warning signs have been posted to encourage safe driving.