The event Sierra Trek held at Meadow Lake near Truckee CA was awesome! After packing everything up and making our way down the hill we ran into trouble. The trailer hitch broke off somehow when we were doing about 65 down I-80. I just happened to look in the rear view mirror to see something shiny bounce down the freeway and almost hit the semi truck that was following us. It didn’t register in my head what could have come out of the trailer that was shiny like chrome. I was just about to say “pull over” when the trailer came off the Jeep and swung around to the driver side and into the traffic on the side of us. The safety chain held and before I knew it the Jeep swung hard to the right hand side of the freeway, luckily there was a big emergency lane and then a wide shoulder area. We hit the dirt, went up the bank slightly and couldn’t stop; we lost control and started spinning down the freeway.
We couldn’t see anything but a big dust cloud that we kept rotating through. We got pelted with pebbles and waves of dirt. I thought for sure we were going to get rammed by the semi truck as all I could hear was the screeching of brakes and skidding on the pavement, it was a really ugly sound. All I could do was hold on and wait for the hit. We had no idea where we were stopped as the dust and dirt hung in the air for what seemed like forever. Finally I realized we were on the right shoulder. We did two full turns and ended up facing traffic when we finally got stopped. I didn’t worry about rolling so much as I did by the thought of getting plowed by the semi truck! I would have taken a direct hit.
Amazingly the Jeep stayed upright but the trailer ended up jackknifed on its side and stuck up under the back bumper. I thought for sure that all the stuff in the trailer was going to be all over the freeway and even if that were the case I really didn’t care. The only thing that came out of the trailer was the five gallon water can! That was a heck of a pack job!
The truck pulled over with one other car and they came running up to see if we were okay. The truck driver was amazed that we didn’t get killed as he watched the whole thing happening. He gave Del and I a high five and told Del he had amazing driving skills to have kept us upright and out of the main traffic which is what saved our lives. The CHP finally showed up about a half an hour later and I overheard one say “I see we have a lucky one here”.