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Driver Escapes Dangling Semi Safely Above Ohio River

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Following an accident on the Clark Memorial Bridge, a semi-truck was left dangling precariously above the Ohio River. The driver of the truck was successfully removed by first responders in a dramatic rescue effort.

Around noon on Friday, the semi-truck went off course while heading north, crossing over into the southbound lanes and smashing through the railing. The cab remained linked to the trailer and was hung beneath the bridge deck.

The only person inside the car was the stranded driver, who was contacted by firemen as soon as they arrived on the site, according to Chief Brian O’Neill of the Louisville Fire Department. The driver—a woman—was eventually taken to UofL Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Under the guidance of LFD firefighter Bryce Carden, firefighters carried out a methodical rescue operation, lowering Carden to the driver’s side of the vehicle with the use of a ladder truck. Before they were both securely lifted to the bridge deck, Carden helped the driver be fastened with a harness and freed from her seatbelt.

Three additional vehicles were also involved in the collision; two occupants of one of those vehicles suffered severe, perhaps fatal injuries and were also sent to UofL Hospital.

The semi-truck, which is being evaluated for removal from the bridge—which is still closed to traffic—belongs to the nationwide food distributor Sysco. Depending on whether transportation officials give their approval, the closure is anticipated to last through Saturday morning rush hour and possibly beyond.

With assistance from engineers from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to evaluate the bridge’s structural integrity after the semi was removed, the LMPD’s Traffic Unit is in charge of the crash investigation.

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