A routine drive to work became a life-or-death situation in the blink of an eye for soon-to-be father Robert Stein.
The 26-year-old was driving down the same route he always takes to work on Crowchild trail, when a driver’s worst nightmare came to life.
“I was on my way to work when I almost died,” Stein said. “It all happened just like that.”
Stein was heading westbound on Crowchild, towards Crowfoot Lowe’s for his morning shift on Tuesday.
He was in the middle lane – a car directly to his right, and an orange Jeep Wrangler was up ahead in the left lane.
The Jeep lost control out of the blue, and immediately swerved to the right – straight towards Stein’s car.
All Stein heard was a loud bursting noise, and the sight of the Jeep losing control, as its front axle rocked back and forth like a spinning top about to topple over.
He said he just managed to get out of the way, and only because the people in the cars to his right reacted fast enough, and moved over.
He said what happened next was a blur, but that at this point there were four cars still going 60 km/hr, crowded onto the right-hand shoulder of the highway.
“I couldn’t go right before because there were cars there, but when the Jeep lost control, everyone quickly moved over,” he said.
That was when a piece of plywood tore loose from a light-duty truck up ahead and came barreling towards them at breakneck speeds.
The drivers all began to slam on their brakes.
“Imagine a spinning wooden blade tumbling at you going 60 km an hour,” Stein said.
The plywood luckily chose a non-lethal trajectory – very narrowly bouncing over the terrified drivers, and coming to a stop a few hundred meters behind them.
“It was like the plot of Final Destination playing out before my eyes,” said Stein. “And I was the main character.”
After glancing to make sure everyone was alright, Stein quickly made his way to work before he was late.
Stein is recently married, and is a soon-to-be father of a baby boy on the way.
He said he is very grateful that he lived, and that he can still be there for his wife Nancy, and his unborn son.
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