OXNARD : Truck Crushes Car, but Driver Survives

An Oxnard man is lucky to be alive after his Ford Mustang collided with a produce truck Monday and then wound up under the wheels of a beer truck-trailer, Oxnard Fire Department officials said.

Don Gladny, who survived the incident with only a shoulder injury, cuts and scrapes, was able to wriggle free from his car, which was destroyed, said Fire Capt. Ray Shaw.

"It took him about four to five minutes, and he wiggled himself out from between the rear dual tires of the trailer," Shaw said. "If you had seen the car, you would have sworn no one could survive that. He was extremely lucky. . . . He had his guardian angel with him."

Oxnard police are investigating the accident, which occurred about 12:30 p.m. and tied up traffic at 5th Street and Rose Avenue for about 2 1/2 hours.

Shaw said Gladny was driving north on Rose while Joseph Billera, 40, was in the southbound lane in a Pacific Beverage Truck Co. tractor-trailer.

A produce truck loaded with celery came through the intersection, broadsided Gladny's car on the passenger side and pushed it under the beverage truck, whose trailer wheels then rolled onto the hood of the car.

The force of the collision snapped the driver's seat flat, a circumstance that may have saved Gladny's life, Shaw said. The victim was in shock when emergency crews arrived, Shaw said, but he calmed down and was able to free himself.

He was taken to St. John's Regional Medical Center, treated and released. Billera, the beverage truck driver, and Jorge Alvarez, driver of the produce truck, also were treated and released. Another driver, Ann Munoz of Oxnard, had damage to her car but reported no injuries, Shaw said.

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