Truck Driver Avoids Disaster - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/22/07 - Lufkin

Truck Driver Avoids Disaster

by Tashun Chism

For now Earl Gibson can relax.

But just hours ago, his life was in jeopardy.

"There were a lot of people trying to get it stopped to tell me there was a fire and I could pretty much see there was a fire already," Earl told us.

Earl was driving down Highway 69 toward Loop 287 when his truck caught on fire. These still pictures show how involved the fire was before firefighters put it out. Earl managed to call 911 while he parked the truck in a safe position. But not before he called his wife.

"He had called and said, 'honey, my engine is blown and it's on fire. I can't talk right now,' and he was just as calm and collected. Then he said, 'I've got to move the engine out of the way and then I have to go because I've got to jump," Said Earl's wife, Margaret.

But even as the flames got hotter and hotter inside the truck, Earl was able to keep a cool head.

"I was just trying to get it in the center of the road away from the other traffic and get it stopped. That was my main concern," said Earl.

"That's always Earl's first concern on the road. It's anyone else on the road. He forgets himself. He'll put himself completely in danger just to keep other people from getting hurt," Margaret told us.

Earl's quick thinking not only saved his own life, but possibly those of other drivers as well. Earl says he's just glad no one was hurt. His wife calls him a hero and is especially glad for his safety.

"The good Lord's looking out after him," Margaret said.

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