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Driver escapes vehicle seconds before semi-truck hits it

By Jed Boal | Posted - Jun 19th, 2014 @ 7:56am


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BOUNTIFUL — Sam Miller could still feel the adrenaline running through his body tonight, because he believes he's truly lucky to be alive.

"To see what happened to my truck, and what I went through, and how hard I hit that wall at 65 mph. Oh, my gosh," said the Bountiful resident.

Miller's Chevy Colorado pickup is a mass of mangled metal. But he was buckled in when he rolled his truck on I-15 in Bountiful around 3 a.m.

He's pretty sure that seat belt saved him. It's what happened after he rolled his truck that has him feeling like he was given a new lease on life.

"This is a new era for me," he said. "I could be dead."

As Miller drove home from a friend's house in Layton, he set his cruise control at 65 miles per hour. He was headed south and nearing his Bountiful exit at 2600 South.

"I shut my eyes for a second," he said.

He nodded off and clipped a truck entering the highway.

"I swerved, hit the wall and flipped my truck," he said. "It had to be 50 feet I skidded on the roof."

Miller was left hanging upside down, curled in a ball, with the airbag in his face.

"Luckily, I had my seat belt on," he said. "I think that's what saved my life."

His truck doors were jammed, his truck was upside down in the middle of traffic and he struggled to get out.

"I had to crawl out through the back windshield," he said. "All of the windows were shattered."

Out on the interstate, a car swerved and missed him. But a semi truck was right behind it. Miller said the driver hit the brakes and went into a skid.

"I got out, and within five or 10 seconds, that semi just nailed (the truck) — boom."

The trucker pulled over to check on Miller.

He told him: "I'm A-okay. I'm just concerned about my stuff all over the road."

Miller walked away with only a cut on a knuckle. But the sheetrocker's tools were strewn all over the road.

"A ladder got destroyed. My radio got destroyed," he said.

Emergency responders helped him gather his tools from the crash site. Miller said about half of them are still just fine.

A year ago, Miller survived a head-on collision in Bountiful. So he believes he's cheated death, and he has a 7-year-old daughter to live for.

Miller said the accident will change the way he drives. He'll keep wearing his seat belt, but he'll also pay closer attention to whether he's driving drowsy.

The UHP gave him a ticket for unsafe lane travel, but that's not hurting his mood.

"I'm feeling great, like nothing really happened to me," he said. "And that's unbelievable."

Contributing: Shara Park and Mary Richards

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