An 18-wheeler lost control and wildly drove through a Panda Express parking lot off of Highway 287 yesterday evening. The Oklahoma big rig first drove onto the embankment and then hit a tree. Although it was an unlucky strike for the tree, it turned out to be a good thing for the patrons of the Panda Express and nearby gas station. The impact from the tree slowed the 18-wheeler down and altered its direction. The only car that was hit was a Chevy Cobalt with a woman inside who was waiting on a to-go-order. Luckily, she had only minor injuries and was reported by NBC to be in stable condition.
As for the driver himself, witnesses say he appeared to have spinal injuries. He was flown to a local hospital. The driver may have been experiencing a medical emergency or something similar around the time of the accident. FOX 4 news reports that he called his wife not long before the accident and told her that he had been losing consciousness. His wife alerted Oakley Transport. The transport company in turn let the state troopers know there was a possible situation. Notice of the safety concern was being passed on to various police departments as the accident occurred.
Although they were not able to prevent the accident, the driver’s spouse, transport company and public safety departments all did the right thing – they reached out and worked together to try to keep our roads safe. Hopefully, the truck driver will soon recover from his accident injuries and overcome whatever obstacle or condition caused him to lose consciousness.