By CHRISTIN COYNE
If not for one passerby who pulled him from his burning truck earlier this month, Elias Uribe doesn’t believe he would have returned home to his three children.
On Jan. 9, the Peaster-area resident woke up around 2:20 a.m., packed a lunch, kissed his three young children goodbye, said his daily morning prayer and headed out the door around 3 a.m. to pick up a load of pipe in Lone Star, Texas.
Just as Uribe was arriving in Dallas on Interstate 30 on the dark, rainy morning, he lost control of his 18-wheeler.
“I guess I hit a stream of water,” Uribe said.
Uribe, who owns his own transport company and has been driving a truck off and on since he was 14 years old in Mexico, attempted to straighten out the jack-knifing trailer but ended up taking out a guardrail along the highway, going down a hill and slamming into a concrete wall.
It seemed to happen very slowly but he couldn’t stop what was happening and realized he was going to hit the wall, Uribe said, adding that it was like a nightmare.
Terry Sims, who was on her way to work at a Dallas post office, doesn’t know how long after the wreck she arrived but said she saw the truck blocking traffic and vehicles driving around the accident.
A law enforcement officer was directing traffic across the freeway, she said.
“Something just stopped me and I looked over,” Sims said.
That’s when she saw flames near the bottom of the truck and reached for her phone to call 911.
But when she looked back, saw the driver in the vehicle moving around and the flames shooting up the passenger side of the cab, she realized she didn’t have time, Sims said.