Man who survived fiery I-26 crash remembers moments before impact

Published: May. 27, 2015 at 7:32 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2017 at 4:10 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Eight cars, a tractor trailer, and gasoline tanker carrying an estimated 8,500 gallons of highly flammable liquid sounds like the recipe for a deadly disaster, but officials are still scratching their heads as to how everyone escaped Wednesday morning's crash on Interstate 26 without grave injuries.

That crash included one man from Irmo who says he was struck from behind by the fuel truck in the crash.

Nick Yarber, 23, is a machinist who was on his way to work Wednesday morning, driving down I-26 east. He says he was surprised when all of a sudden the traffic in front of him came to a complete stop.

Mobile users, tap here to get a look at the damage from Wednesday's tanker crash.

Yarber says he was sitting in the left lane wondering what was going on. He says he looked in his rear view mirror and saw the fuel truck coming right at him.

"I remember seeing it," Yarber said. "I remember thinking, 'It's not slowing down. It's not slowing down. It just kept getting closer and then I can't, I can't recall what happened after that."

Yarber was rushed from the scene to Lexington Medical Center. He received treatment for a bruise on the back of his head and some mild soreness. Outside of that, he escaped the accident okay.

"I guess all I can say is like wow, I'm really, really, really lucky to be here right now. I really don't know what to say either I could have died today or I could have ended up like I am now and I'd much rather prefer to be like I am now," Yarber said.

From what we understand two other people involved in the 10-vehicle crash were also treated at the medical center and released with minor injuries. Some were also treated at Palmetto Richland.

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