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Ontario trucker heralded for saving lives

WALTON, Ky. - He may have been taking the only option he thought was open to him, but an Ontario trucker is being credited for saving lives in an accident on Interstate 75 in Kentucky.William Shields ...


WALTON, Ky. – He may have been taking the only option he thought was open to him, but an Ontario trucker is being credited for saving lives in an accident on Interstate 75 in Kentucky.

William Shields of Southampton, Ont. was northbound on Oct. 8 when an out-of-control tractor-trailer rolled in his path. Trucker David Brinkley had accidentally hit the brake valves when loading the cab, causing the truck to roll toward the highway.

Shields, knowing that he couldn’t afford to hit the flatbed broadside, and realizing a couple was traveling in a car beside him, took the only path that made sense. He steered directly toward the cab of the out-of-control truck.

“I knew if I hit a flatbed dead on, well, I was dead,” the driver from Grant Transport in New Hamburg, Ont. told Truck News. “If I had cut to the left, I would have cut the roof off that car.” So too would he probably have sent 30 1,500-lb. rolls of paper down the highway.

“The cab was the only place I could go.”

Remarkably, everyone escaped without injury – and he credits seatbelts and the crash-worthiness of his 1996 Volvo cab for saving his life.

“All that damage and we just cut ourselves getting people out of cars,” he says.

Shields admits that he wasn’t a fan of the seatbelt law when it first came into play. “After that,” he adds, “you have to become a believer.”

The accident did cause some grief for traffic in the region, however, since the runaway truck’s fuel tank ruptured, sending about 80 gallons of diesel onto the highway. n


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