Jurgen Henn: An Interview With The Man Who Films Truck Crashes

The CanOpener is a Durham railroad trestle bridge that eats trucks . Lucky for us, Jurgen Henn works in a nearby office and is able to fil...


The CanOpener is a Durham railroad trestle bridge that eats trucks. Lucky for us, Jurgen Henn works in a nearby office and is able to film every single crash from multiple angles, which he chronicles at 11foot8.com. We spoke with Mr. Henn about The CanOpener, his thoughts on why it claims so many victims, his favorite crash, and his crash art.

Tell us about 11foot8.
I started working at Brightleaf Square in 2002. Over the years, I noticed a pattern of trucks hitting the train trestle on a fairly regular basis right outside my office. In 2008, I decided to investigate a little bit more about how frequent the incidents were and what happens when trucks hit the trestle. At the time, I was in the process of installing a home security system and I used one of those cameras and put it up outside my office to start recording the truck crashes. It took about a month or two before I caught the first crash on video. I decided to put it on YouTube and share it with friends. They were really interested in this footage so I decided to keep the camera rolling and start collecting the footage of these crashes.



Why do you think The CanOpener has claimed so many victims?
There are a number of factors that contribute to the higher than average frequency of crashes. I want to point out that this is not a unique phenomenon. Bridges, and especially train trestles, all over the world claim victims on a regular basis. This is probably one of the better documented cases and perhaps one of the more reliable cases. We've got a situation here where we've got a two-lane one-way road that has quite heavy traffic at times. It goes through a fairly narrow area with lots of things going on for the drivers to pay attention to. Pedestrian crosswalks, several traffic lights, speed limits, and side streets. There's a fair amount of confusing things to pay attention to. You have a distracted or inexperienced driver and they're paying attention to everything but the one that they should be paying attention to, which is the Clearance Warning. You've got an accident on your hands.

They just installed new traffic symbols at the underpass. Do you think this will eliminate or drastically reduce crashes?
It's anyone's guess. I'm optimistic. My guess would be we'll see lower speed crashes because the traffic lights on Gregson Street are tied to the sensor. That sensor will trigger the stoplight, but if the driver doesn't pay attention to the clearance signage, they'll still hit the bridge, but probably at a lower speed, which will definitely be an improvement in terms of safety, but it won't eliminate the stupidity factor.

What has been your favorite crash?
Of course, I can't help but enjoy some of the more intense, spectacular crashes. But honestly, my absolute favorite the footage with the two trucks with hay or straw bales stacked on the back. The first one goes through there and shaves off the top layer of straw bales. They fall on the street. The second truck drives through the straw bales and shaves off a layer of straw. I can't help but chuckle.



What's the most interesting non-crash you've recorded?
I record everything that goes on at that intersection and there are actually a fair number of car crashes that have nothing to do with the train trestle that I've recorded over the years. I had one recording that gained some interest because it was a hit-and-run. Two cars collided and the one who ignored the sign on Peabody Street hit the car on Gregson and just kept going and left the scene of the accident. With the help of the community, they were able to identify the vehicle and subsequently the driver. When the driver was confronted with the footage, he confessed to the incident. I thought that was kind of nice to help catch a bad guy.

Probably my favorite footage, but not a truck crash, are the near-misses, when the truck driver realizes what's going on. I've got some nice footage of trucks stopping in the nick of time in front of the trestle.

Tell us about your Crash Art.
Frequently after The CanOpener has done its deed and enforced the laws of physics on another over-height truck, there is debris on the road, part of the truck. Once the truck is cleared out of there, I help myself to some of the remains. I figure it's in the public's interest to clean up after this mess. I took them into my office and decorate my office with a few pieces and people have told me they'd be interested in purchasing some. I decided to take some pictures and put them on my website for sale.

Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Well, there's one thing I always like to point out. The crashes, as frequent as they are, are actually exceedingly rare when you look at the amount of traffic that goes through that area. Most truck drivers are careful, they pay attention, they don't hit the bridge. I see two, three, four trucks every day turn onto Peabody Street when the driver realizes that the truck won't fit through there. They turn and take a different route. There's more trucks that notice even earlier and turn onto Main Street.

Most truck drivers get it. They pay attention. They take a different route and keep everyone safe. The distracted drivers, the inexperienced drivers, they're the ones that get caught by The CanOpener and they pay the price.

More 11foot8: Official | YouTube | Facebook | Crash Art Store

COMMENTS

BLOGGER: 1
  1. They can additionally come to offer your vehicle a husteads towing berkeley beginning if the battery is dead. Some solutions also supply assistance if you ever before leave your tricks in the auto, the automobile is secured and also you can not obtain in.

    ReplyDelete

Name

2018 In Review,3,2019 In Review,5,2021 In Review,1,2023 In Review,1,Aberdeen,1,Adam Ant,2,Adnate,1,Albemarle,2,Album Reviews,3,Alex DeLarge,6,Alli Good,1,Alx Dlrg,4,Andrews,3,Animals,30,Apex,1,Archdale,1,Architecture,41,Art/Murals/Statues,156,Asheville,31,Austen Mikulka,1,Automobiles,38,Avon,1,Battleboro,1,Bayside,1,Bear Creek,1,Beaufort,1,beer,11,Bella DiStefano,8,Belmont,2,Ben Folds,1,Best Of NC 2019,19,Best Of NC 2020,20,Best Of NC 2021,2,Best of NC 2022,2,Best Of SC 2019,1,Bicycle Face,1,Big Mouths,11,Bigfoot,3,Bishopville,5,Blacksburg,2,Blackville,1,Bladenboro,1,Blog,72,Blue October,1,Blue Sky,2,Bob Duato,6,Bolton,2,Bowman,1,Brandon Owen,1,Brevard,1,Brian Davis,2,Bryson City,3,Burger,15,Burger Bracket,14,Burlington,5,Bynum,1,Caitlin Russ,10,Cameron,1,Car Parts Sculpture,19,Carolina Beach,1,Carolina Music Fridays,9,Carolina Panthers,1,Carrboro,1,Carthage,1,Cary,1,Chapel Hill,8,Charleston,7,Charlotte,26,Cheerwine,1,Cherokee,12,Chocowinity,2,City Guide,1,Collettsville,1,Columbia,7,Concert Review,182,Concert Reviews,21,Concord,1,Contests,2,Conway,3,Cordova,1,Cullowhee,1,DAAS,2,David Ellis,1,Davidson,1,Denver,1,Diet Cig,1,Dinosaurs,9,Douglas Panzone,1,Doyle,1,Drat The Luck,1,Drew Drain,1,Durham,10,Dustin Spagnola,3,Eden,1,edih17,3,Edneyville,2,Ellerbe,1,Fayetteville,4,Ferguson,1,Festivals,6,Fiberglass Creations,10,Filming Locations,10,Flat Duo Jets,1,Florence,3,Food & Drink,20,Frisco,1,Gaffney,2,Georgetown,1,Giant,1,Giants/Big Things,81,Gibsonville,1,Glam Skanks,2,Goldsboro,2,Graham,1,Gravesites,22,Greensboro,39,Greenville,2,Gus Cutty,7,Hamer,3,Hamlet,1,Hampstead,2,Hardeeville,1,Hartsville,1,Hatteras,1,Haw River,1,Heavy Rebel Weekender,2,Henderson,2,Hendersonville,7,High Point,10,Hillsborough,4,Hoodie Allen,1,Hope Mills,1,Howard Jones,1,Hudson,1,Huntersville,1,Ian Bredice,1,Ian Brownlee,1,Ian Wilkinson,1,In Memoriam,46,Interviews,37,Jacksonville,2,Jamestown,4,Jeff Beck,1,JEKS,5,Jerkface,1,Jerms,1,Jerry Friend,5,Jessica Oddono,1,Jim MacKenzie,13,Johns Island,1,Jonathan Cohen,2,Kannapolis,1,Ked Woodley,1,Kendall Doub,1,Kendrick Lamar,1,Kernersville,1,Kill Devil Hills,1,King,2,Kitty Hawk,1,Knightdale,1,Lady Huns,2,Laurel Springs,1,Laurinburg,1,Lenoir,2,Lexington,1,Little River,1,Littleton,2,Lizard Lick,2,Loris,1,Lucama,2,Lumberton,1,Mac Sabbath,1,Madison,1,Maggie Valley,2,Maiden,1,Maps,3,Marion,2,Mark Dolejs,26,Marshall,1,Maui Cabral,4,Mayberry,4,McClellanville,1,Mebane,2,Megan Kelly,3,Meres One,1,Mermania,2,Meta,2,Metal Flake Mother,1,Milk Carton,6,Miniatures/Little Things,5,Missio,1,Mitch Cook,2,Mixtapes,2,Mocksville,2,Moncure,1,Moogfest,2,Mooresville,1,Morganton,2,Morrisville,1,Motels/Hotels,15,Mount Airy,14,Mount Pleasant,4,Mount Ulla,1,Muffler Men,13,Murals,61,Murphy,7,Murrells Inet,8,Music,261,Myrtle Beach,23,Nags Head,3,Nathan Nordstrom,1,New Bern,3,New Found Glory,1,North Carolina,398,North Myrtle Beach,11,Old Fort,1,On The Road With,26,Paranormal/Supernatural,43,Patch Whisky,6,Pawleys Island,1,Pelion,1,Peter Parpan,1,Philip Morris,1,Pigeon Forge,4,Pikeville,1,Pittsboro,1,Pixie Hocker,24,Podcast,3,Point Pleasant,1,Poplar Branch,1,Post Malone,1,Press,1,Project2020,1,Prospect Hill,1,Providence,1,Raleigh,17,Ranked!,4,Reidsville,3,Religion,1,Reretail Therapy,1,Retail Therapy,1,Reviews,4,Richfield,1,Richmond,2,Ridgeway,1,Road Eats,9,Road Trip Mixtapes,8,Roanoke Rapids,1,Rob Fogle,1,Robbinsville,3,Rockingham,1,Rocky Mount,5,Rodanthe,1,Rose Hill,1,Rougemont,2,Roxboro,1,Salisbury,5,Sanford,2,Scott Nurkin,1,Seeking Myrtle Beach's Grand Strange,10,Sergio Odeith,2,Sex Police,1,Shallotte,1,Sharks,22,Sheepman,1,Shelby,1,Sightings,557,Signage,78,Siobhan Shene,1,Smithfield,2,Sneads Ferry,2,Snow Camp,1,South Carolina,102,Southern Pines,1,Spencer Mountain,2,Star,1,Statesville,2,Steve Halaszi,1,Stokesdale,2,Strange Carolinas Must-See Attraction,5,Strange Tennessee,8,Strange Virginia,2,Strange West Virginia,12,Summerville,1,Supply,1,Surf City,1,Surfside Beach,1,Sylva,3,taco,12,tacos,12,Tennessee,8,The Art Of Chase,3,The Darkness,1,The Fabulous Knobs,1,They Might Be Giants,1,Thomasville,2,Tryon,1,Uncategorized,20,Valdese,1,Vans Warped Tour,7,Videos,4,Virginia,2,Walterboro,1,Wayback Wednesdays,4,Weeekend Road Trip Mixtapes,2,West Columbia,3,West Jefferson,1,West Virginia,12,Whirligigs,2,Whitsett,1,Whittier,5,Wilkesboro,1,Wilmington,10,Wilson,8,Winnsboro,3,Winston-Salem,12,Wrightsville Beach,1,Yogi Bear,3,York,1,Zebulon,2,
ltr
item
Strange Carolinas: The Travelogue Of The Offbeat: Jurgen Henn: An Interview With The Man Who Films Truck Crashes
Jurgen Henn: An Interview With The Man Who Films Truck Crashes
https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgaJC3Gbv84Svm12Hfx1o-Olpp4MJUmwHq0S8VOQNj7gSPuxrtQpqHAwIq0cKtu6Y_gBcihki3uznNRlxrpqekU32WaWPusnlBoe0TS28YppsMJszPMmS9rKo33zYIe8kw3VtkmGu2ndec/s1600/11foot82.jpg
https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgaJC3Gbv84Svm12Hfx1o-Olpp4MJUmwHq0S8VOQNj7gSPuxrtQpqHAwIq0cKtu6Y_gBcihki3uznNRlxrpqekU32WaWPusnlBoe0TS28YppsMJszPMmS9rKo33zYIe8kw3VtkmGu2ndec/s72-c/11foot82.jpg
Strange Carolinas: The Travelogue Of The Offbeat
https://www.strangecarolinas.com/2016/03/jurgen-henn-interview-with-man-who.html
https://www.strangecarolinas.com/
https://www.strangecarolinas.com/
https://www.strangecarolinas.com/2016/03/jurgen-henn-interview-with-man-who.html
true
2361839506313789098
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content