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N.B. man ‘happy to be alive’ after nearly being impaled in driving accident

One man's commute home became one he will remember for the rest of his life.

Pickup truck pierced by bridge piece in crash on remote logging road

A beam through the seat of a truck

After a long night shift on Jan.10, Michael Roy hopped into his pickup truck with a co-worker and started the long drive home.

The ride could have been his last.

Roy, 32, often took a rural logging road for the 100-kilometre drive from the job site in Plaster Rock to his home in Saint-Quentin.

Snow was heavy through the desolate woodland trail known locally as the West Tobique Wood Road.

"We didn't see much and we didn't go fast," Roy said.

Halfway through the drive, just as they were approaching a sharp turn over a bridge, Roy said his steering began to malfunction.

WATCH | Could you survive this? Michael Roy did:

An inch away from being impaled

39 minutes ago

Duration 1:00

Michael Roy is lucky to be alive after he lost control of his vehicle in a snowstorm and crashed into a bridge on a remote logging road in northwest New Brunswick.

He said he lost control of the wheel and hit the brakes just as his truck slid through the bridge and into a ditch.

After the crash, Roy turned to his co-worker.

"I told him I'm happy to be alive, and he didn't know why."

Roy told him to turn on his flashlight, and the crash scene was revealed.

A thick wooden beam from the bridge had pierced through the front body of the truck, into the cabin, and through the very seat Roy was sitting on.

"When it entered the truck, it hit my seat just enough to lift me a little bit," Roy said, adding that it even ripped his pants.

"I'm glad that it wasn't an inch over because I would not be here to talk with you."

He said he and his co-worker were both in disbelief that Roy was still alive — the pair walked away without injury.

"Just a little bruise and maybe two or three scratches. That's all I got," Roy said.

When he finally made it home safely, Roy's wife was shocked.

"My wife can't believe it until I showed her the pictures, and she can't believe it until I went with them the day after to the scrapyard to see the truck in person."

Roy said he didn't call police about the crash because it took place on a road through private land.

"The towing just went there and removed the truck from the bridge and towed it to the scrapyard," he said

The truck was totalled, but Roy was not — making him a bit of a local wonder in Saint-Quentin, which has around 2,000 residents.

"Every time I go to the mall or the grocery, everyone tells me that they can't believe I'm still alive," Roy said.

Despite going through a near-death experience, Roy said he's not nervous to get behind the wheel again.

"I know it's because mechanical issues, it's not my skill that's involved," he said, adding that he's worked as a heavy equipment operator for seven years.

"So seven years of every winter I ride in some storms and I didn't think that something like that could possibly happen to me," Roy said.

"But now, I see that you never know when it's your time."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sam Farley

Journalist

Sam Farley is a Fredericton-based reporter at CBC New Brunswick. Originally from Boston, he is a journalism graduate of the University of King's College in Halifax. He can be reached at sam.farley@cbc.ca

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