An Ohio trucker is being called a hero after frantically steering his speeding, out-of-control rig through a busy intersection and avoiding crashing into a busy shopping center, sacrificing himself by pointing the truck into a tree in the process, according to a WKYC News report.
Chris Burgess, the truck driver, was killed when his rig smashed into the tree, then flipped and landed upside down in the Cuyahoga River. Terrified onlookers said Burgess seemed to aim his truck for the tree so he could avoid hitting people and cars in the busy shopping center.
Burgess lost the brakes on his dump truck coming down Portage Trail and headed straight for the Valley Center Plaza.
“He definitely sacrificed his safety for the safety of everyone else who was around here,” crash witness Karla Maple told the NBC affiliate.
Margaret Paulin was in her dry cleaning business, dead in the path of the truck she said was going 100 miles an hour.
“He truly sacrificed himself to keep from hitting anybody,” Paulin said. “Because there were so many cars in this lot at the time he came through here, I can’t believe he missed them.”
“You could just tell even though he was helpless and did not have control, he did not want to harm anyone,” Merendino said.