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Foot on brake keeps Tenn. driver from falling down cliff

First responders in Maury County used log chains, tow straps to keep the truck from falling down the 200-foot cliff

By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

WILLIAMSPORT, Tenn. — A dramatic rescue straight out of a movie played out on an icy Tennessee road when a truck was found teetering over a 200-foot cliff above the Duck River.

The crash happened early Sunday, Jan. 21, in Middle Tennessee, and the driver discovered to his horror that the truck slid farther each time he eased his foot off the brake, the Maury County Fire Department reported in a Facebook post.

Another driver — Lt. Roscoe Voss with the Maury County Sheriff’s Department — is credited with keeping the truck from going over the edge until firefighters arrived.

“When I drove up on the truck, I called a neighbor of mine who was out feeding cattle on the neighboring farm and he ran up there with two log chains. We attached (the chains) to the rear of his truck and then pulled tight with my truck to hold on,” Voss told McClatchy News.

“Before we tied the truck off, it teetered every time he would move inside the truck or let off on the brakes. ... I probably stayed hooked to him for 20 or 30 minutes before the fire department could make their way up to us, as the entire road was a solid sheet of ice.”

The pickup remained in danger of falling until tow straps were attached to the rear and then tied to a large tree on the other side of the road, he said.

A winch was then used to ease the truck back from the edge, allowing the driver to hop out.

“The guy was sure relieved when the firefighters got him out of the truck, as I’m pretty sure he thought he was going over the cliff,” Voss said.

Photos show the pickup was traveling an iced-over road near Williamsport when it slid through a guard rail and came to a stop — half on the road and half off.

Voss, who has been with the sheriff’s department 26 years, says he was headed out to feed cattle in a one-ton pickup when he saw the truck hanging off the road.

“The guy was probably just a minute or two in front of me coming up the hill, and he was calling 911 about the time I pulled up,” he said.

The identity of the driver was not released, and investigators did not report if he suffered injuries.

Temperatures fell to 1 degree the day of the accident, and stayed freezing through the day.

Williamsport is about 40 miles southwest of Nashville .

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