How Witnessing a Fatal Accident Can Affect You: Forever

Fatal Car and Semi Truck Accident on the Highway

Truck driving can be a great career. 

But like any career, there are downsides and sometimes even a dark side. 

This focus of this post is bringing to light, the difficulty in dealing with witnessing a catastrophic accident, in the line of duty as a professional truck driver. 

Fatal semi truck accident with cars in traffic on highway

One of the Dark Sides of Trucking

One of the darkest sides of truck driving as career, is witnessing a fatality accident.

As a truck driver, witnessing a fatal accident is a haunting reality that many drivers may face at some point in their careers. 

With cars having the ability to travel so smoothly at high speeds, along with distracted driving at an all time high, along with truck driver training at an all time low……. 

No wonder there are such horrendous tragic accidents on our interstates. 

The Impact of Witnessing a Fatality Accident

The impact on an individual who witnesses such an experience can be profound. 

It can leave lasting effects on one’s mental and emotional, well-being. 

I Probably Will Never Encounter Such An Accident, You Say

Be prepared to face the fact, that at sometime in your truck driving career, you will encounter such a traumatic event. 

Be prepared for the fact that you may be more affected by such an incident than you may think. 

The Shocking Reality

In my years of driving, I’ve been fortunate enough to have never been involved in an accident. 

Over my years as a truck driver though, I have witnessed several horrific accidents. 

But nothing prepared me for the day that I witnessed a fatal accident right in front of me

Truck Accident with fatallities on interstate

The Immediate Emotional Response

The shock and horror of seeing lives lost in an instant is something that stays with you forever. 

It’s not just about the physical damage and carnage of the accident, which of course is certainly shocking. 

For me, it was the emotional impact that lingered long after the accident.

Trauma and Emotional Distress

Even though I wasn’t directly involved in the accident, the trauma of witnessing such a tragic event affected me deeply.

For months after that horrific scene, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Almost like a feeling of helplessness.

Truck Accident with Helicopter Ambulance at the scene on the highway

Impact on Mental Health

Fortunately, after awhile, I managed to snap out of it and life carried on. Although, I’ll admit to this day, I carry a vision of the sights and sounds with me that rises from time to time.

Some drivers though, will struggle with their mental health. 

There’s never any shame in seeking out help in dealing with such a situation.

Changes in Perspective

Seeing that accident changed my perspective on safety and mortality. 

It really shook me up and made me realize how fragile life can be. 

I always knew it was important to be vigilant when behind the wheel, but witnessing that accident, magnified the importance of being at my best at all times when driving any vehicle. 

Coping Mechanisms and Support

I found it interesting and felt a sense of relief when I started talking to other truck drivers who had been through similar experiences. We’re more alike than we are different as human beings.

I learned the importance of dealing with such emotional turmoil and that it’s ok to seek out therapy to deal with such emotionally charged situations. 

For truck drivers, witnessing a fatal accident is not just a possibility but a potential reality that can have a lasting impact on mental well-being.

My advice is to not wait too before seeking professional help, in order to deal with such highly charged emotional trauma. 

Grief Counselling in Trucking Companies H.R.

Some trucking companies offer grief counselling in the evident of something catastrophic. I think this is very innovative and very much necessary. 

By acknowledging the emotional toll, seeking support when needed, and being prepared, drivers can navigate through such traumatic experiences with resilience and strength.

Fatal semi truck accident with cars in traffic on highway



My Trucker Story: The Wildest Ride I Could EVER Imagine in a Cabover

I was heading west, winding my way into Golden, B.C. 

The road through there was 2 lanes and it winds along the side of the mountain. 

It’s maybe about 800-1000’ above the Kicking Horse River. 

It’s a road where it’s necessary to be careful and be super attentive. 

There are sharp curves with steep angles on the road. Just got to crawl through there nice and slow. 

One morning, I came across a few guys who were around the curve ahead of me. 

They were stopped and peering over the edge. 

Where they were standing there were guard wires, to keep cars from going over the edge. 

I pulled over and stopped and walked over to them. 

I asked them what was going on. 

The one guy said, “ A George Smith truck just went through here and over the edge.” 

George Smith was a carrier out of Winnipeg, Manitoba back then. 

They had Cabover Astros. 

Those things were all glass in the front, by the way. 

This truck had lost control… taking the corner too fast, didn’t make the curve and shot off into space. 

As we looked over the edge, we could see where the truck and trailer had clipped a few tree tops as it went down the side of the mountain, and accordianed into the river. 

The river at that point was only about 6’ deep.

The report can out later that day, that there was a team in the truck. 

There was a driver in the bunk and one behind the wheel. 

I could not imagine what a wild ride that driver had looking down out of that cabover at 800’ while he headed at high speed to that river below. 

My guess is his heart probably stopped before he hit the bottom. 

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