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A young woman in Portland got the scare of her life on Tuesday when she was trapped in her car as it burst into flames. 23-year-old Dana Bruice was traveling across the Marquam Bridge when a 170,000 beam came crashing towards her. It landed on her car after the semi-truck that was transporting the beam overturned on it’s way to being used in the Portland-Milwaukie light rail project.

Luckily for Buice, she was uninjured aside from a cut on her hand. Mark Cole pulled her out of her vehicle right after the accident occurred. He has said that the occurrence was a “freak accident” but investigations are still ongoing. The beam was only one of six that were scheduled to be delivered this week.

Sharing the road with semis can be intimidating. They’re big, beastly and look rather unforgiving. But, for the most part, you can stay safe by taking precautions:

• Give semi-trucks plenty of room. They no doubt need more room around them than the average-sized vehicle. Because of things like tire blowouts, you should always keep your distance from semis.
• Keep in mind that semis have more blind spots than you could imagine.
• If you are going to pass a semi, do it as quickly as possible and without hesitation. Pass on the left if possible.

These are just a few of the most important things you should consider when driving near a semi. Always be prepared, alert and courteous. Accidents like Buice’s are unpredictable but can happen at any time.

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