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‘All of a sudden the glass slowly tipped,’ driver says after semi loses inch-thick sheets on I-95

Posted at 7:57 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 20:09:26-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Drivers are recounting the harrowing moments when a semi carrying inch-thick sheets of glass lost its load on I-95 in Petersburg Tuesday.

Those who saw the glass come smashing down onto the roadway said they were surprised no one was hurt.

Glass covered I-95.

Glass covered I-95.

Tammy Arnold was riding with her daughter, who was behind the wheel, when they spotted a tractor-trailer with a leaning load.

"All of a sudden the glass just slowly tipped over and crashed into the road in front of us," Arnold said.

Her daughter, Rachel, kept calm through the ordeal and managed to safely pull their car to the side of the road.

This semi lost its load of glass on I-95.

This semi lost its load of glass on I-95.

A first responder believes a local tow truck driver's quick thinking likely prevented accidents since broken glass was scattered across three southbound lanes as well as nearly 600 feet down the northbound lanes.

Bubby Bish, with Southside Virginia Emergency Crew,  was driving southbound when he saw something strange.

"Looked to me like, at first smoke," Bish said. "Then all of a sudden I felt the glass debris hit my vehicle."

Bish turned on his red lights and surveyed the area. Then he spotted a B & T Tow Truck in the northbound lanes.

Mark Palmer and Bubby Bish.

Mark Palmer and Bubby Bish.

"I saw the tow truck driver about six, eight car lengths behind," he said. "He went onto the shoulder of the road, near the jersey wall, came around the line of traffic."

Mark Palmer was behind the wheel of the B & T roll back and explains what he was doing "I merged over to the left shoulder, came around traffic and blocked two and a half to three lanes of traffic, just to keep people from driving through it."

"To me, he made a big difference in the scene," Bish said. "To me, he's a hero."