You have probably heard of the trolley problem. If you haven’t, it’s a thought experiment where an out-of-control trolley is barreling toward a group of people. The ethical dilemma gives a bystander a choice to let the trolley continue and kill a group of people or divert the trolley onto a different track to strike and kill a single person. Earlier this week, a truck driver in Ohio was placed in a similar scenario and chose neither option.
On Tuesday, a school bus was stopped on State Route 57 in Montville, Ohio, 37 miles west of Cleveland. The bus was stopped to pick up students on its route to Ralph E. Waite Elementary School. A pick-up truck and two SUVs were stopped in the opposite lane of the two-lane road, waiting for the school bus to retract its stop sign.
Coming down the road was a heavy truck with no way to stop. On the tractor-trailer’s dashcam, you can hear the driver screaming “Stop!” as he blares his horn to warn the vehicles ahead. It was clear that the tractor-trailer loaded with sand wouldn’t get stopped in time. The driver swung the truck into the opposite lane to avoid hitting the school bus but put the pick-up in the line of fire.
The pick-up driver reversed back into the SUV behind him, but it allowed there to be enough room for the tractor-trailer to clear every vehicle without touching a single one. The tractor-trailer eventually came to a stop a quarter-mile down State Route 57.
In an interview with News 5 Cleveland, Montville Police Chief Matt Neil said, “I’m just glad that crisis was averted. This could have been devastating to our community, to the whole county, the whole area. He handled everything in a very professional manner. In 15 seconds, he had to make a decision: Where am I putting this 80,000-pound truck?”
The police are investigating the incident to precisely determine why this happened and why the tractor-trailer drove back to its yard right after this near-collision.