Monday, January 15, 2007

My Dad Should Be Dead #4

If you’ve been following this little series of posts, you may remember that when my dad was about 16 he worked as a Flagman for crop dusting. Part of his 22 hours-a-day job was hauling gasoline and pesticide from air field to air field.

This particular morning, he was picked up about 3:00am, and he and a co-worker began heading out to a new airfield. As the passenger, rather than staying awake to help keep the driver awake,my dad promptly dozed off. They were on a long, empty stretch of road: dark, quiet – hauling several tons of gasoline in barrels, along with undiluted pesticide.

As you would probably expect, the driver fell asleep at the wheel. They were crossing over a bridge, with a cement barrier between them and the river below…the truck hit the cement head on, full speed.

The cab crushed inward, the windshield was forced back through the cab, over their heads, while at the same time, barrels of gasoline flew through the back of the cab over their heads. My dad was drenched in gasoline. The engine block was forced into the cab as well, and was pinned up again my dad’s left leg – hot, and burning him.

So here he is, covered in gasoline, pinned in the cab, engine block burning his leg, and then his buddy says something about them being in the water. The cab was rocking precariously over the edge, back and forth, nearly touching the water.

Some guys came driving by not too long after all this, and using ropes, they carefully pulled the cab back to safety. Smart to use rope. I think I would have used chains…which no doubt would have sparked causing the whole thing to go up in flames. In fact, any little spark, from any of this little scene would have been the end of the whole thing.

Luckily, and amazingly that didn't happen, and my dad woke up 45 minutes later in a hospital with a severely broken and burned leg (of which he still has the scars today); my grandma was there with him by this point, crying, as would any mother. Just grateful that he was alive. The first words out of my dads mouth were: “Mom, I broke my glasses again.” He was constantly breaking his glasses.

It’s all in our perspective, isn’t it.

- Chel


Kara said...

Holy cow that would be so scary! He is one lucky guy!

Erika said...

Yikes! I'm glad your dad is okay :-D

Mike said...

I'm wondering if he had 9 lives. And how many does he have left lol.

Skittles said...

I'm beginning to see why his glasses got broken so much!

Smalltown RN said...

Holy cow batman..your dad was very lucky. I work nights as well and that is one of my biggest fears is that I might fall asleep at the wheel. I have had the odd time I have had to pull over and shake my head and walk around a bit before I could continue driving. I am glad your father made out alright!!


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