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Video, photos: Dramatic rescue saves trucker hanging off Ky. bridge

A Louisville firefighter was lowered to rescue the driver as the cab of her rig hung off the bridge after a crash

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A tractor-trailer that was knocked dangling off a bridge over the Ohio River — prompting a dramatic rescue of the driver — was struck by a vehicle that had crossed into opposing traffic, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said Saturday.

Breathtaking photos and video captured the rescue Friday of the driver in her cab over the side of the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge connecting Louisville, Kentucky, to southern Indiana.

The truck driver was rescued unharmed, but three other cars were involved in the crash, and two people were taken to the hospital with possibly life-threatening injuries, Louisville Metro Police said Friday.

At a press conference Saturday, Greenberg said one person remains hospitalized with serious injuries.

Greenberg said the crash occurred when a southbound vehicle hit a stalled car and crossed into northbound traffic, where it struck the tractor-trailer and caused it to go through the guardrail and hang precariously off the edge of the bridge.

The accident was reported shortly after noon on Friday. After that, it took about 40 minutes to set up a rope system and get a firefighter, Bryce Carden, ready to rappel down to the cab, hook the driver up to a safety harness and lift her safely back to the bridge surface, Louisville Fire Chief Brian O’Neill said at a press conference Friday. She was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Greenberg said Saturday that he spoke to the rescued driver, who has not been identified.

“She is incredibly brave. She is incredibly fortunate,” he said.

Greenberg thanked Carden and the first responders, as well as the transportation crews, for their response.

Kentucky’s state highway engineer, James Ballinger, said Saturday that while the bridge will need repairs from the crash, particularly to a pedestrian sidewalk, its structural integrity was not compromised. Officials expected to open the bridge Saturday evening.

The bridge carries about 24,000 vehicles a day over the Ohio River.

The truck was removed from the bridge around 8 p.m. Friday.