Hot Shots: Suspended Truck, Late Spring Snow, Major Bridge Repair and More

Every Friday, FreightWaves takes a look back at the week or so on social media, highlighting trucking, transportation and the weather. This week presents a heartbreaking experience for a driver slipping on an embankment, a land dump tornado spotted in the air from inside a plane and very late snow in the northwest.

Up close and personal

A glider pilot took a thrilling ride around a land dump tornado in Oklahoma last weekend, and it was caught on camera (presumably by someone other than the pilot). Everyone on board had a wonderful view of the funnel, which they spotted at Tuttle, about 20 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

A land tornado forms the same way a waterspout develops over lakes and oceans – from land circulations sucked into a developing thunderstorm cloud. This differs from a regular tornado, which stretches downward from a rotating supercell thunderstorm. Waterspouts are generally weaker than most regular tornadoes, but can still cause damage to the ground.


A truck driver accidentally pulled off a road Tuesday near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 28-foot truck found itself perched on a steep embankment in the Lookout Mountain area, suspended over what the Chattanooga Fire Department (CFD) called a “dangerous and unstable place.”

The firefighters were able to rescue the driver, who was reportedly hung upside down in the cabin. It took over an hour to secure the truck and skillfully bring the driver to safety. A CFD spokesperson said the driver was taken to hospital with relatively minor injuries, and a local towing company then returned the truck to the road.

Major bridges

The Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River remains closed due to a structural problem. In mid-May, an Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) engineer spotted a fractured beam during a routine inspection. ARDOT immediately closed the crossing that connects Memphis, Tennessee, to eastern Arkansas.

ARDOT officials said on Tuesday that temporary welding brackets continued to be installed on the bridge in preparation for tensioning the poles. Tennessee Transportation Commissioner Clay Bright said earlier this month he expects repairs to last until the end of July. Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, told FreightWaves this week that the shutdown is costing the trucking industry about $ 1 million a day, but this is an improvement over there was a few weeks, when the congestion on the alternative routes was worse.

Related: The closure of the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River will last for several more weeks


Most of the country has warmed in recent weeks, with just two days before the summer solstice. But it does not happen everywhere. As they say in real estate, it’s all about location.

Snow still covers parts of Mount Hood, Oregon, the state’s tallest mountain, which rises to 11,249 feet above sea level. National Weather Service meteorologists in Portland, In. Oregon, told FeightWaves that it was very common to see snow in the Mount Hood area in mid-June, especially above 6,000 feet. If you’re not the cold-hearted type, think warm thoughts.

Mysterious man

This one dates back to early last week, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. A truck driver rescued a Utah couple from their burning house in the middle of the night. It happened in Veyo, a town in the far southwest of the state.

After seeing the flames, the driver pulled the horn on their platform, rang the couple’s doorbell and knocked on the door until they woke up. He even took one of the people out of the house, according to the St. George News.

Once the driver made sure the couple were a safe distance from the fire, he got into his truck and drove away. Brandon G. Humphries, mayor of a nearby town, said his aunt and uncle are the couple who live in the house. He also said they were sound asleep when the fire broke out and it was the actions of the truck driver that saved their lives that night. Veyo Fire Chief Chris Larsen added: “That’s pure hero stuff over there.”

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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