Storm-Chasing Trucker Recounts ‘Horrendous’ Scene After Deadly Tornado Batters Big Rigs
Hayti, MO — A trucker who also chases storms opened up about the terrifying scenes he witnessed over the weekend as a rare tornado ripped a nearly 230-mile path of carnage through four states.
Brandon Copic is a professional truck driver and also serves as the executive director for ChaserWX Storm Response Team.
He has been chasing storms for over a decade and spent last Friday evening chasing a “quad state tornado” along Interstate 55.
In an interview with NewsNation he said he will not soon forget the path of destruction he witnessed.
As he pursued the storm from Arkansas into Missouri, he says he came upon two tractor-trailers that had been flipped onto their side.
Thankfully, the drivers were not seriously injured, so he continued on about a quarter mile along I-55 to discover two more rigs toppled by the fierce winds.
One driver was “fine” but the other was “very cut up, bruised and bleeding everywhere,” Copic recalled.
That’s when he shined his flashlight into a field near the roadway to illuminate what a Hyati police officer on scene believed to be farm equipment.
However, Copic said he quickly realized it was actually a “chassis of a truck.”
“I was appalled when I got to the scene and saw that a semi-truck had been lofted, it didn’t tumble, it lofted the truck 200 yards and threw it in a field and crumpled it like a toy,” he explained. “The truck was flipped upside down and squished into the ground.”
Copic said the driver had miraculously managed to escape the mangled wreckage, but was in dire condition.
“When we got to him, it was horrendous,” he said. “He had a bone sticking out of him. Honestly, it looked like he had been through a meat grinder — parts of his muscle were hanging out — it was very difficult to see.”
Emergency personnel arrived on scene 20 minutes later and began working to save the trucker’s life before transporting him to a nearby hospital.
“I hope he made it,” Copic commented.
WATCH Copic’s full interview below.
It is unclear if the unidentified driver survived, but Copic’s experience is a great reminder that storms can quickly turn dangerous, especially along open roadways.
Weather experts advise it is wise to always be mindful of extreme weather warnings and take shelter, if at all possible.
It just might save your life.