Man who survived scrap metal crushing his van glad no one else was injured

Jesus Escobar nearly scalped in crash, lawyer says

By Matt Petrillo - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The truck that sent a large piece of scrap metal flying off an Interstate 4 overpass and onto a minivan, had its load properly secured, News 6 learned Monday from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers are still investigating the crash but believe speed might have been a factor.

Now, 36-year-old Jesus Escobar, the man whose minivan became the target of a four-ton hunk of scrap metal that fell out of the toppled truck, is suffering from several injuries.

Escobar's lawyer, Dutch Anderson, said Escobar will spend at least the next three weeks of summer sitting inside of his home and wearing a brace around his collar because of a fractured neck. Anderson said he also had his head nearly scalped from the crash.

"He had a horrible laceration that goes from one side of his head to the other," he said.

Escobar was going to his construction job Saturday, traveling off of Interstate 4 and onto State Road 528 near Orlando, when, at the same time,  the driver of the semitruck hauling scrap metal was traveling onto I-4. The truck driver hit a guardrail, the semi overturned and the huge hunk of metal fell off the overpass and on top the van below.

"Clearly, this is something that never should have happened," Anderson said.

Escobar woke up in a hospital, not remembering a thing. But he's thankful no one else was with him in his now mangled minivan, and no other vehicles were caught up in the crash, Anderson said.

"One of the first things he said to me," Anderson said,  "was, 'I'm glad it was me.' And I was like like, 'Jesus, what do you mean you're glad it was you?' He said, 'That's the exit everybody takes to go to SeaWorld with their kids. So if it had been somebody with a family full of children, it would have been a catastrophe.'"

Now, the Escobar family attorney is hoping to reach a settlement.

The driver of the truck was cited for careless driving. He was driving a truck that had a logo on its side: Trademark Metals Recycling.

News 6 dug into the truck company's to see if its drivers have a history of careless driving. But a search of records with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Orange County Clerks office turned up nothing.

Trademark Metals Recycling has not returned messages seeking comment.

Copyright 2017 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.