Video: Alleged drunk trucker runs over motorcyclist, crashes into ditch
SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - An intoxicated truck driver passed out behind the wheel, according to Slidell police, veering off the road and striking a motorcyclist before crashing the 18-wheeler into a ditch. The entire incident was caught on video.
Slidell police are calling the aftermath of the crash a "miracle."
The crash happened around 7 p.m. Friday at the intersection of 190 West and Carnation Street in Slidell.
Police arriving on the scene say they feared the worst. The motorcyclist, a 50-year-old man from Slidell, was found lying on the side of the road. The 18-wheeler was found in a ditch, with the motorcycle pinned underneath.
Police say the motorcyclist was still alive, but in critical condition. He was rushed to University Hospital in New Orleans.
When Police started talking with the driver of the 18-wheeler, identified as 56-year-old Timothy Duimstra of Hudsonville, Michigan, they noticed he was slurring his speech and was unable to maintain a steady balance. Officers say they believe Duimstra was driving the truck under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.
Detectives say Duimstra was traveling westbound on the highway when he passed out behind the wheel and veered off the main highway. He ran over the motorcycle, which was stopped on Carnation Street.
The impact flung the driver of the motorcyclist off of his bike, causing him to land in a grassy area on the side of the road, police say. The motorcycle was then dragged underneath the 18-wheeler, and pinned underneath the front tire of the tractor.
The driver of the motorcycle is still hospitalized with serious injuries, but police say he is expected to survive.
"There is no doubt in my mind that his guardian angel was with him during the accident," Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said. "Had it not been for the fact the impact flung him from his motorcycle, and luckily causing him to land the grass, he would not be alive today. It's not every day you can get run over by an 18-wheeler and live to tell about it. It's truly a miracle."
Duimstra's truck was full of flour. Officers say he was going to make a delivery somewhere in the area.
Duimstra was placed under arrest and charged with first degree neglect injury, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and driving while intoxicated. Blood samples were taken from both drivers, but police say impairment is not suspected for the driver of the motorcycle.
Duimstra was booked into the Slidell City Jail and has since been transported to the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
"I messed up," Duimstra allegedly told officers.
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