US 27 Re-Opens After Fiery Truck Smashup
WESTON (CBSMiami) – A section of busy US 27 was closed to traffic in Broward County for several hours Thursday morning after an accident with a double whammy; a smash-up between two tractor trailers that sent both drivers to the hospital and spread debris all over the highway.
The accident happened shortly after 4 a.m. in the southbound lanes near Griffin Road, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Driver Rafael Rodriguez, who was transporting plants for Home Depot, was heading to a farm in Homestead when he developed some sort of tire issue. He pulled over onto the shoulder and was placing warning triangles on the road when he saw another 18-wheeler careen into his. Lourdes Ordaz, who works with Rodriguez and was a passenger in the truck, got out just in time.
“The other truck was coming and when that happened he started running because he saw the other truck coming to hit him,” said Ordaz.
Investigators said part of Rodriguez’s truck was still partially on the roadway when it was hit.
BSO spokesperson Mike Jachles said the accident was so intense, the second truck burst into flames.
“If you look beyond the accident right here,” said Jachles pointing to the remains of the trucks, “You can see the power of the full impact of this crash. That mangled box is the cab of one of these semis, the engine ejected right out of the truck.”
Rodriguez said he called 9-1-1 when he saw the flames coming toward him. He said he never saw the driver of the second truck emerge from the cab and he feared he was dead. The driver of the second truck, identified as 27-year old Jose Soto-Perez, did make it out. He was taken by air-rescue to Memorial Regional Hospital where he was treated and released.
“For both of the drivers, they are both very lucky you know, unfortunately one lost their pet dog,” said Jachles. “But for a driver to walk away virtually uninjured from this, that is pretty miraculous.”