Truck driver describes terrifying seconds in strong storm
PRAIRIEVILLE - A truck driver says he is lucky to be alive after he and his truck was caught up in a bad storm.
Shane Cooke was driving though Addis around 10:30 a.m. Friday when the skies opened up and he thought it was the end.
"It was a cloud of rain," he said, safe at home in Ascension Parish hours after the ordeal. "You couldn't see anything."
He said the whole event lasted about 30 seconds but it felt like a lifetime. He was turning off LA 1 onto Sid Richardson Road when the windows on his truck blew out and his truck did a 180 degree turn. He had just enough time to squat down in his truck and walked away with scratches on his arms, face and neck.
"The truck started rocking really hard and the windows just shattered in," explained the 27-year-old. "I didn't really feel anything hit my face, because my adrenaline was pumping so hard."
Cooke was making a delivery to a nearby plant carrying wire, boxes and electrical materal. A stack of angle iron somehow ended up bent. The contents of his truck were turned upside down and and the hat on his head was blown off by the wind.
Before the event, Cooke make a couple of phone calls, one to his girlfriend.
"I told her that I was in a bad storm, and I might not make it home, and I love you," he said.
"He was like, 'I can't talk, I can't hear,' I'm like 'hello, hello?' He was like, 'I love you. I love you,' I was like, 'Ok I love you too,'" said Chelbi Liotto.
The call was less than a minute, just long enough to say goodbye.
"My assumption of what it did is just come down, do what it wanted to do, and just lifted right back up and diminished," said Cooke.
Cooke says there was no other damage in the area and never actually saw anything resembling a tornado.
Watch the attached video to hear what Chief Forecaster Pat Shingleton thought may have caused the situation.