Admit it: You’ll read anything with a headline that says “Florida Man.”
On Aug. 1, an otherwise normal afternoon on Interstate 95 in Boynton Beach north of Miami, a weird, totally Florida scene broke out. Whispers is sure some of you have seen it by now.
A motorist, whose passenger said had begun acting strangely, stopped his southbound car on the interstate, hopped out and then moseyed over to the northbound lanes.
This obviously slowed traffic and the man waved down a passing ABF Freight tractor-trailer, whose driver was identified as Edward Hughes and presumably was interested in helping out someone who appeared to be in distress. The now-pedestrian hopped on the hood of Hughes’ tractor and began bashing the windshield with what reports have said was a metal bar and his head.
Photos Hughes took of his cab showed a battered, broken windshield smeared with what appears to be blood. So, yeah, Florida.
Hughes told reporters that he panicked, hit the gas and drove down the interstate, occasionally stopping suddenly or swerving in an attempt to shake the man loose.
After 9 miles — video didn’t seem to show Hughes driving recklessly fast and other traffic was well back — police pulled the truck over and took the man to a local hospital for evaluation. Hughes was uninjured.
In case you were wondering, ArcBest Corp. of Fort Smith, the parent company of ABF Freight, does not have this scenario in its driver training pamphlet. But it should be noted that drivers have enough to worry about what with their cargo, their equipment and the safety of themselves and others on the road without someone headbutting their windshield.
“I do not think we have seen anything specifically like this where someone jumped on the hood of a tractor in the middle of a highway and started attacking it for no apparent reason,” an ArcBest spokesman told Whispers.
“According to the Florida Highway Patrol Incident Report, after being detained, the man expressed to emergency personnel several times that he was trying to kill himself. This whole ordeal is incredibly unfortunate, but, thankfully, our driver is okay.”