A few millimetres were the difference between suffering serious injury and escaping a collision with a semi trailer truck virtually unscathed, Aldergrove resident Sarah Champoux told Black Press Media.
Champoux, whose company specializes in transporting horses, was driving a trailer with five horses back from Calgary to Langley on Monday afternoon (Sept. 2) when the crash occurred.
She was heading along Hwy. 1 near Sicamous when a semi-trailer suddenly pulled out of a truck stop in front of her.
“I locked up the brakes” trying to stop, Champoux recalled.
Unable to avoid the crash, Champoux could tell the semi trailer was going to hit her heavy-duty Dodge pickup truck on the driver’s side, where she was at the wheel.
She was about to dive down into the passenger side but the truck hit before she could do more than think about ducking.
In an instant, the side of the semi trailer smashed all the way into the driver’s side of her Dodge.
“It stopped on my chest,” Champoux recalled.
“It pinned me.”
She had to wriggle her way out of her truck on the passenger side.
“The weird thing is, the air bags didn’t go off.”
She was taken to hospital in Salmon Arm as a precaution, then released.
Champoux said she didn’t have any injuries beyond a “tiny cut on my finger.”
“I don’t even have a bruise from the seat belt,” she related.
“I’ve been hurt worse just tripping and falling.”
A photo from the scene shows the force of the impact crushed the roof of the truck and snapped its frame.
Four of the horses have been declared good to travel, while one, which was knocked down inside the trailer by the force of the impact, was lame, but expected to recover.
“I think he’s going to be totally fine,” Champoux said.
She was surprised and delighted by the outpouring of support and sympathy from people in the horse community.
“I was getting so many texts when I was in hospital.”
An RCMP report said the driver of the semi was issued a ticket for failing to yield on a left turn.
The collision closed the highway for more than two hours between 2 and 4:30 p.m as crews worked to clear the wrecked vehicles.
The closure, coupled with heavy long-weekend traffic, created what police described as a “significant backup”on the highway.
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