An Orlando man narrowly escaped a gruesome death Saturday morning when a giant piece of falling scrap metal crushed his van. The giant pillar came crashing 200 feet down from a highway and landed on 2003 Pontiac van driven by Jesus Armando Escobar, who walked away with only minor injuries. The hunk of scrap metal had been strapped to a Mack truck headed west on State Road 528 at about 7:35 Am Saturday. “It basically dropped right on his van. He never saw it coming” Sgt Kim Montes, Highway Patrol spokeswoman said. Truck driver Antonio Santiago Wharton lost control of car, filled with other pieces of scrap meta, as he tried to turn onto Interstate 4. The 2007 truck hit a guard rail and overturned. The pillar came falling from overpass and smacked right on Escobar’s van. If pillar landed a foot more to the left, it would have been on top of the 33 years old Escobar, Montes said. “Had anybody else been in the car it would have been a fatality” Montes said. Escobar survived, got out of the car and began walking around, Montes added. His head started to hurt a few minutes later and he was taken to the hospital as a precaution. The Highway Patrol described his injuries as minor. It was one of 2 pillars loaded on the Mack truck, Montes said. She was not sure how much it weighed, but it was so heavy that the winch of a tow truck had to pull it off the van. Wharton 33  years old was ticketed with careless driving, according to the Highway Patrol. This particular turn has been troublesome for truckers in Orlando, Montes continued. In one case, a truck struck guard rail, caught fire and burned for roughly a day. A beer truck overturned in another incident and rained beer from overpass.

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