The owner of this pickup truck was towing his 35 foot fifth wheel trailer back to Longview, Washington from a summer campsite when disaster struck.
He was making the trek back in late November, at the start of the cold season. As he passed near the town of Naselle, he hit a patch of black ice.
The trailer and truck slid off the road, and he quickly found himself in the ditch, nearly upside down.
The driver of the truck fractured his neck in the accident, but thankfully wasn’t paralyzed. It took about 30 minutes for a crew from Hill Auto Body & Towing to pull the truck and trailer out of the ditch.
Black ice, sometimes called ‘clear ice’, is a thin layer of ice that forms on the surface of roads. The ice isn’t black at all, it’s the lack of snow and slush that makes the ice so smooth as to be nearly invisible to drivers. Black ice usually forms during a light rain, when the road temperature is below freezing.
If it’s colder than about -18 °C (0 °F), moisture from a car’s exhaust may condense and form black ice.
This is why many winter pileups happen during rush hour, as the exhaust from the idling vehicles causes ice to form on expressways. Be careful out there!