SASKATOON, Sask. — A Saskatchewan trucker was nearly a victim of the deadly train derailment in Minot, N.D. that caused a cloud of ammonia gas to escape.
Bob Robichaud, who hauls for Hot Shot Trucking, was overcome with the poisonous gas as he crossed an overpass across a set of railway tracks. His timing couldn’t have been worse, as the train wreck had just happened and fumes were escaping from the cars.
"I should have been dead," Robichaud tells local media, noting he spend half an hour wandering through fields, trying to find his way out of the poisonous cloud. He says his eyes, throat and lungs burned like an iron.
"Before Bob got out of the truck, water started running down his face and from his nose. He said the haze of gas was so thick he couldn’t see his hand," says his wife, Cherie. She adds that his incredible will to live was his saving grace.
"If he had gotten up from one of his falls and gone in the wrong direction, he could have been lost entirely," says Cherie. "They would have found a body out there because he was getting really bad."
After being treated in a North Dakota hospital, Robichaud wasn’t deterred from finishing his job. He delivered the rig’s cargo before heading back to Saskatoon.
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