Central’s 18-wheeler driver: ‘He saved me. He had angels over me. That’s the reason I made it out.’

Raw interview with survivor of 18-wheeler driver Brandon Ray, 26, of Mississippi

CENTRAL — “I survived a miracle accident,” that’s how 26-year-old Brandon Ray, an 18-wheeler driver going through Central, Louisiana, describes April 19, 2024, a day etched in his mind forever.

Ray, a truck driver, was making a route from Houston, TX back to his home in Mississippi. Like most days, he was hoping to get his load for 8 a.m. and be on the road. Instead, on April 19, 2024, Ray tells UWK, he could not load up from Houston till 11 a.m.

“Just coming through Baton Rouge, and I know that Baton Rouge has a lot of backed up traffic so I tried to go around it. The day was going smooth so far so I tried to go around Baton Rouge traffic and that’s how I ended up on Hooper Rd, to get to I-55 north to go home,” said Ray.


It was around 7:30 p.m. when Joseph Perry Montgomery, 39, of Central was driving a white, four-door GMC pick-up and crossed over the center into the path of oncoming traffic.

“I could have stayed and had a head-on collision, but I didn’t know how that was going to turn out for either one of us so I just went around, tried to go around him,” said Ray. “When I got around him, I thought to myself, ‘I’m good,’ but with the weight of my trailer being top-heavy, I flipped, and when that moment happened, I saw the front of the hood raise up. I could not believe it. It just took it over.”

The big-rig was upside down. The driver of that 18-wheeler, was trapped inside, stuck in Central.

  • Central big rig crash 4-19-24
  • Central big rig crash 4-19-24
  • Central big rig crash 4-19-24

“It was just a race. I was trying to get out of there. It was hot. I was stuck with the seatbelt. The sleeper is in front of the refrigerator and the steering wheel is underneath me so I was like I need some help, quick,” he recounted.

He says within five minutes of the crash, an off-duty paramedic was at his side. He said she continued talking to him and within minutes, there were numerous first responders on the scene. They stayed there for three hours, talking to Ray the entire time ensuring him they were not leaving and were doing everything in their power to get him out. Plus, Ray says his phone had sent an alert to all his family advising he had been in a severe crash, so he could hear his phone continuously ringing, but could not reach it given he was trapped.

“That was my reason to just keep going, just take your time and breathe. It was scary. It was nothing but pure darkness,” said Ray.

Finally, around 10:30 p.m., Ray was pulled out of the wreckage and he came out with his hands in the air praising God. It was also his first time getting to see what was left of his truck.

“He saved me. He had angels over me. That’s the reason I made it out and I just kept faith. I thought it was over with. By the way the exterior looked, it did not look too promising, but God brought me through.”

Ray was rushed into emergency surgery. He’s undergone two surgeries on his left leg and a third one is scheduled. His left arm and leg were severely injured, but he says doctors told him he is expected to make a full recovery.

Ray was discharged from the Baton Rouge hospital on May 1, 2024 and returned to his home in Mississippi.

The driver of the GMC truck, Montgomery, was arrested and charged with one count of felony hit and run.

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area. 

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