A trucker sat smoking cigarettes Tuesday for more than an hour on an unexploded 500-pound bomb that naval personnel had told him was a dud until another group searching for the errant ordnance warned him that it was live, officials said.
Johnny Teate, 25, of Wildwood, Fla., unhurt but shaken by the experience, said he was "driving 35 mph and heard this kind of whistling noise. As quick as I heard it, it hit in front of the truck. If I'd been a second ahead, it would have hit the truck and would have wiped me out."
The bomb was dropped from an A7 attack jet at the Pinecastle Electronic Warfare Range over the Ocala National Forest, and landed about a mile outside the restricted area, a Navy spokesman said.
Teate said the bomb skidded down the road and "finally came to a stop in the woods." He said Navy officials told him that "it was a dummy filled with concrete. One of them kicked it."
"I sat on it smoking cigarettes for about an hour and 20 minutes before some Navy Jeeps came over the hill honking their horns. They got out and took a look at it and backed up. They said it was as live as it could be and there was no reason why it shouldn't have gone off," Teate said.