Tractor-trailer driver crashes into Norfolk front porch: ‘I saw my life flash before my eyes’

Norfolk, Va. – It was a close call for Derrick Bell.

“I saw my life flash before my eyes,” he says.

Bell was driving a tractor-trailer along Tidewater Drive Monday evening when he says another tractor-trailer pulled in front of him to avoid hitting a moped.

“It was just slow motion,” he says. “You really have no words for something like this happening.”

Photos: Vehicles in Hampton Roads buildings

Bell says he slammed on his brakes while swerving right; it was a white-knuckle final stop as he plowed into the front porch of a residence.

“I’m just glad it didn’t go through the house,” he says. “That was my main concern, trying to avoid going through the house.”

79-year-old Rosa Demory was inside. She says she was in the back of her home when she heard the crash.

“It sounded like something hit something, but I didn’t think it hit my house,” Demory says.

Deborah Perry is a friend of Demory’s. She says she rushed over when Demory called her after the crash.

“Look I don’t even like to be behind them on the road, so this close is a little too close,” Perry says.

“If I hadn’t been through so much already, I might have been real anxious and nervous, but since I’ve been through so much, I just came out and saw that nobody was hurt and that was all,” Demory says.

One adult was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for precautionary measures.

The home was found to be structurally sound.

The incident remains under investigation but no charges are pending against Bell.

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