Photo of unscathed driver smashed between trucks goes viral

Published 11:40 am Sunday, January 18, 2015

If there’s an image of a driver having a closer brush with death, Google hasn’t found it yet. 

The photo of 27-year-old farmer Kaleb Whitby pinned within an inch of his life between two semi tractor trailers makes Luke Skywalker’s Death Star trash compactor episode look like a trip to a spa. 

Whitby’s Chevy Silverado slammed into the trailer of a jack-knifed semi at the very tail end of a 50-vehicle pileup caused by icy conditions early Saturday morning on Interstate 84 outside Baker City, Oregon. About ten seconds later, another semi slammed into him. His truck was instantly crushed beyond recognition. Whitby however looked the same as ever. And he felt fine—fine enough to say cheese for a photo of his very first car accident… snapped by the driver of the truck that hit him.

The trucker, 32-year-old Sergi Karplyuk, helped Whitby, a married farmer with a two-year-old son and another child on the way, out of the mangled steel coffin. The two lent a hand to emergency personnel that arrived on the scene.

Whiby eventually went to the hospital and got two Band-Aids on his right ring finer. 

“Thank God that I’m still alive,” Whitby told the Oregonian. “Now I’ve got to go figure out why.”