Father of three survives when van crushed by scrap metal

Posted at 7:22 AM, Jul 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-16 07:22:15-04

ORANGE COUNTY, FL (WFTV/CNN) – A man in Florida miraculously survived a bizarre accident during which his van was completely crushed by scrap metal.

Truck driver Antonio Santiago Wharton was driving on an overpass Saturday morning when he lost control of his vehicle, a Mack truck loaded down with scrap metal, while negotiating a curve.

The truck hit the guardrail and overturned, the Florida Highway Patrol says.

A large metal pipe flew off Wharton’s truck, tumbled off the overpass and landed squarely on the roof of 36-year-old Jesus Armando Escobar’s van. Escobar, a father of three, was exiting the interstate at the time.

The force of the impact completely crushed the van's roof on its driver's side, troopers say.

Escobar somehow was able to walk away from the crash with only minor injuries. If he had been sitting in any other seat, he would have likely been killed, officials say.

The family believes Jesus was with Escobar during the accident.

Theodore Olson, who works at a towing service in Orlando, says he’s seen a lot of wrecks but nothing like this.

"I've seen crushed cars before but nothing in this kind of circumstance, where they were up on an upper bridge, and it rolled out of the container and crushed a car. That’s a one in a million shot," Olson said. "I thought it was a fatality, to be honest with you. But they came out and said, 'Nope, he's only got scratches.' It’s crazy."

Wharton was ticketed for careless driving, troopers say.

Copyright 2017 WFTV, Escobar Family, Florida Highway Patrol via CNN. All rights reserved.