MISSOULA — A semi-truck drove off I-90 into the parking lot of Missoula's Cracker Barrel on Thursday, May 5, 2022, crashing into several parked vehicles - but fortunately, there were no injuries reported.
Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Robert Strauch says the truck driver was "choking on water" when he careened across the highway and into the lot.
The MHP says the semi-truck was eastbound on I-90 near Reserve Street when the driver went off the left side of the road, crossed the median, and went westbound on I-90.
The truck crashed into a Ford SUV that was traveling west on I-90, then drove through a fence and crashed into two storage containers and two parked vehicles between Cracker Barrel and My Place hotel.
One man at the scene said he was sitting in his car in the lot when it happened and sprung into action. A trucker himself, witness John Wilke said he climbed into the big rig and saved the driver.
"He said he pretty much was having a coughing fit and his eyes got really watery. He was going eastbound and had a coughing fit," Wilke explained. "Next thing he knows he is going off between the two highways. It takes three football fields to stop fully loaded on one of those trucks and there's no way in hell he was going to stop."
The trucker was issued a citation for careless driving.
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