Jesus Armando Escobar, 36, was exiting a Florida interstate on Saturday morning at the same time Antonio Santiago Wharton, 33, was driving a Mack truck loaded with scrap metal on the overpass above him. Wharton lost control of the truck going around the curve and it overturned, dumping a 7,000-pound metal pipe off the overpass and onto the roof of Escobar's van. Yet somehow, the father of three suffered only minor injuries—despite the fact that the roof of the van on the driver's side was crushed by the nearly four-ton piece of scrap metal, WFTV reports. "I thought it was a fatality, to be honest with you. But they came out and said, 'Nope, he's only got scratches,'" says a worker with AATR Orlando, a towing service. A state trooper who saw the scene and read other troopers' notes tells WESH Escobar was "alert and walking around" soon after the accident.
Authorities say Escobar, who was released from the hospital the same day the accident happened, may have been killed had he been in any other seat. "That's the exit everybody takes to go to SeaWorld with their kids. So if it had been somebody with a family full of children, it would have been a catastrophe," Escobar's lawyer says Escobar, who doesn't remember the incident, told him. The lawyer tells News4Jax his client's injuries include a significant head laceration and a neck fracture that will keep him in a neck brace for weeks, and says the family is hoping to reach a settlement in the case. Wharton received a careless-driving ticket; the load was properly secured, but authorities are investigating whether speed was an issue. (In another miraculous incident, a new dad fell 47 stories and survived.)