Controlling traffic turns hellish on ‘Highway Thru Hell’

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Two of the guys on “Highway Thru Hell” cheated death in Sunday night’s episode of the Weather Channel’s reality show, but neither were working the heavy rescue and recovery trucks in western Canada.

‘Highway Thru Hell’s’ Brandon Kodallas

Instead, a pair of traffic control specialists were nearly killed while trying to flag down traffic at two different recoveries during a brutal ice storm. One was a 19-year-old member of the Jamie Davis family while the other was a veteran who takes his job seriously.

In addition, the latest episode of the hit show set in British Columbia and Alberta, opened with easily the most startling bit of truck driving seen on this or any other TV show of late.

Davis’ stepson, 19-year-old Brandon Kodallas, was working traffic control on Highway 5 in British Columbia as Chris Mervyn of Aggressive Towing, was trying to get a dump truck and tandem trailer righted and back on the road. A second truck was needed for the recovery on the icy highway.

In all, it was a tricky rescue made dangerous by heavy traffic that showed little interest in slowing down despite Kodallas’ efforts. So, frustrated and sacred, Kodallas quit.

“I’m too young to put myself in this much danger,” Kodallas said as he drove his pickup back to his stepfather’s business.

Robert Guiboche became the new traffic control chief for Jamie Davis, and had a trying first night on the job. Working with Ray Potter in British Columbia, Guiboche ran interference as Potter pulled several cars and pickups out ditches along the ice-covered highway.

As Potter worked to get a pickup truck off its side and back onto all four wheels, Guiboche tried to stop oncoming traffic. He wasn’t completely successful.

Guiboche was trying to stop traffic so Potter could reposition his wrecker. With his pickup displaying a large flashing sign and Guiboche himself in the middle of the slick highway, a tractor trailer approach with little sign of stopping.

Scrambling on the ice, Guiboche got out of harms way just as the rig slid into the pickup, which most likely kept the truck from slamming into Potter and his wrecker.

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“That was frickin’ close,” was Guiboche’s only comment as his wrecked truck was loaded onto the flatbed that had just delivered his replacement ride for the rest of his shift.

But, the episodes most bizarre bit of driving came as Randy jackknife worked to get a tractor/trailer that slid off Highway 3 near Lac La Biche in Alberta back on the road.

As Jackknife worked to get the recovery under way, another tractor/trailer slid off the highway and cut between the first disabled truck and the wrecker. Without missing beat, the truck rumbled back onto the highway and continued on its way, leaving a startled Jackknife shaking his head in disbelief.

But, once he got the driver of the first truck turning his wheels in the right direction and working without anyone to stop traffic, Jackknife dodged oncoming traffic and got the truck on the road and on its way.

“Highway Thru Hell” airs at 10 p.m. Eastern Sundays on the Weather Channel.