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4-ton metal object falls off I-4 overpass, crushes van below

Driver narrowly escapes tragedy after metal object lands on top of roof

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando man driving on I-4 Saturday morning was nearly crushed by a four-ton metal object that fell onto his van.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a semi-truck hauling scrap metal was traveling westbound on I-4 onto the State Road 528 exit ramp when the driver lost control. The truck then hit a guardrail, causing it to overturn.

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During the crash, a large piece of metal fell off the I-4 overpass and landed directly on top of a passing vehicle below driven by Jesus A. Escobar, according to the FHP.

"It's almost shocking. No idea how to express anything else," said Maria Figueroa, Escobar's mother-in-law, holding back tears. "It's scary."

"I thought for sure no one had survived that," said Lupe Grover, an employee with AATR Orlando, which towed the van.

Workers there have seen a lot of tragic endings to accidents on the road, but never someone surviving this kind of destruction.

"I was thinking it could be me and my kids, and luckily, there were no kids. It was just one individual," Grover said.

What if there were anyone else in that car?

"No," Grover said. "They wouldn't have survived. Absolutely not, I don't think."

Escobar was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with only minor injuries.

The FHP said the scrap metal truck driver, Antonio Santiago Wharton, of Kissimmee, was cited for careless driving.

The ramp from westbound SR 528 to westbound I-4 was expected to be closed for several hours while crews worked to pick up the scattered scrap metal debris from the roadway.


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