Missouri woman escapes as semi-truck hits her car in viral video of snowy I-44 pile-up

The video is chilling.

In snowy and icy conditions, a car has crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer truck amidst a pile-up. Seconds later, a woman opens the driver’s side door to escape as another semi-truck comes barreling into the back of her car. The worst part is, she keeps slipping and falling on the icy roads as she tries to get away.

The clip has had more than 1 million views since it was uploaded to Reddit, Imgur and Facebook, though it’s unclear who shot the video.

Springfield television station KY3 reported Wednesday that the woman is Caroline Gardner, who was traveling to the St. Louis area on Interstate 44 when snowfall caught drivers off guard, causing a massive accident.

Gardner told KY3 she had texted her boyfriend after her car crashed into the back of a semi-truck.

“I look up, and this semi is coming straight at my driver’s side door. It was the scariest thing I had ever seen in my entire life,” she said.

She told the media outlet she’s seen comments online suggesting she shouldn’t have gotten out of her car. The semi-truck, she said, appeared to be coming directly at her. The semi swerved, she said, after she got out of her vehicle.

At least one other driver also caught the accident on camera.

A driver from Marshfield, Mo., shared with The Star the dashboard camera footage he captured of Gardner’s car sliding into the back of the first semi.

Curtis Jones said he was on his way to Lebanon, Mo., to meet his wife when the snow storm hit, and had planned to turn around. Jones was driving a white pickup truck and his two children, a 9-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl, were with him.

“I was going to turn around at the emergency turn around there before I got to Exit 107, but I couldn’t stop quick enough,” Jones said. “When I got to the top of the hill, I just saw all the trucks crash at the bottom of the hill. Immediately, I started putting on my brake, but I started sliding all the way down the hill. I came to a stop about two feet from a semi.”

Jones’ video shows Gardner’s white car going around his truck, sliding on the roadway and hitting the semi-truck. Not long after, Jones said another semi-truck behind them slid into the woman’s car.

“Next thing you know, she’s getting out of the car and slipping down,” Jones said. “She did get to the truck, though.”

Jones said he let the woman sit in his pickup truck with him and his children as she waited for a relative to pick her up.

Gardner walked away with minor injuries.

A drone video from the Conway, Mo., Volunteer Fire Department shows cars and semi trucks piled up on that part of Interstate 44 where Gardner and Jones were Sunday.

Five people died and dozens were injured in more than 650 crashes in the state as a result of the storm, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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