Report: Lightning leaves semi truck’s cruise control stuck at 70 MPH on I-37

When the truck driver called 911 about the runaway rig, the Live Oak County 911 dispatcher that he reached had also been a truck driver for a decade.

A truck driver passing though Live Oak County, Texas, found himself trying to survive in a runaway rig after it was hit by lightning on Sunday night.
According to KIII-TV3, truck driver Mark Vela was traveling on I-37 when his rig was struck by lightning, causing the cruise control to become stuck at 70 m.p.h. Vela called Live Oak County 911 and was connected to a dispatcher who happened to have driven trucks for 10 years. Vela stayed on the line with the dispatcher as he tried to maneuver his out of control truck. The dispatcher was able to send out Texas Department of Public Safety officers to clear traffic around the runway truck.

“I know you want to get home to your family,” the dispatcher told Vela over the phone. Vera replied, “I don’t want to take anyone else’s life.” According to the report, Vela knew I-37 well enough to realize that a dangerous curve was coming up and he had to take action to stop the truck. So as he was coming up a hill, he says that turned off the truck, killing the power steering, then turned it back on and then he said that he “overcorrected, corrected the over correct, came back the other side, and finally I just slammed them on and jackknifed and stopped on 37, and that was that.” No major injuries were reported.

Following the incident, Vela was able to meet with the dispatcher to thank her.

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