BOSTON (CBS) – A truck driver’s major mistake created a traffic nightmare in the O’Neill Tunnel Thursday morning, and the woman directly behind the truck is happy to be alive.
“I just stopped the car,” Justine Gibbs said. “I just prayed that there was nobody behind me.”
The accident brought rush hour to a stop and created a huge backup that lasted for hours. An inconvenience, but incredibly nobody was hurt.
When the truck crashed into the O’Neill Tunnel, debris went everywhere. Justine Gibbs’ windshield went black but she was still able to make a turn at the very last second. She thought she was going to die.
“Everything just went flying,” she said.
Gibbs has taken the O’Neill Tunnel to work every day for 15 years.
“I was a little early going to work, and it was going to be a great day,” Gibbs said.
And then the cargo on the truck in front of her hit the ceiling, debris flying as cars are passed by. Gibbs only had seconds to react.
“It just happened so fast, I don’t know, I guess just you know, reaction, instinct, I don’t know,” Gibbs said.
Traffic was backed up for miles and the 59-year-old driver, from Ontario, was cited for the height and width of his truck. He has not been identified.
The driver works for Snap Trucking. Roger Hamilton, the owner of Snap Trucking, apologized for any inconvenience the crash caused.
“It’s a door, that’s one of the things that hit my car,” Gibbs said.
The door was part of the cargo that flew off the truck. Gibbs was amazed by the video.
“Oh, yeah, that was me. Wow, that’s crazy,” she said as she watched the video. “I’m just glad that I was alive after seeing what happened, I’m just glad I was OK.”
The maximum height for the tunnel is 13 and a half feet. MassDOT said there are sensors that warn the drivers if they are too tall.
The message will read “over height vehicle, stop, await police,” and MassDOT confirms those sensors did go off Thursday morning.