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Video/Pic: Firefighters rescue semi-truck driver dangling off bridge

An ambulance. (Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime/TNS)
March 01, 2024

Emergency crews completed an incredible rescue Friday after a multi-vehicle accident left a semi-truck driver dangling off the Roger Clark Memorial Bridge that connects Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana, over the Ohio River.

According to Fox 10 Phoenix, first responders were able to execute a high-angle rescue operation, repelling off the bridge to rescue the driver from the cabin of the semi-truck. Following the rescue, the Louisville Metro Police Department confirmed that both the driver and the firefighter who executed the rescue were safe.

During a press conference after the rescue on Friday, Louisville Fire Chief Brian O’Neill said first responders found a “pretty serious wreck” involving the semi-truck and two other vehicles after arriving at the bridge shortly after 12 p.m. O’Neill told reporters that one of the individuals involved in Friday’s crash was transported to a local hospital.

When emergency crews responded to the scene, a significant portion of the semi-truck was dangling off the edge of the bridge, according to Fox 10. The emergency crews were able to use a ladder to lower firefighter Bryce Carden down to the level of the semi-truck cabin. After Carden secured the driver, emergency crews used a rope and pulley to hoist both of them back up to the bridge.

A video recorded by Fox News shows the firefighter rescuing the semi-truck driver while dangling over the Ohio River.

“It’s tremendously lucky that it [the semi-truck] didn’t go over,” O’Neill said. He noted that the semi-truck driver was “very relieved to be back on solid ground” and had been transported to a local hospital as a precaution.

“This is a once-in-a-career type of thing,” O’Neill added. “We’re willing to risk a lot to save a lot … these men and women make me so proud.”

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According to Fox 10, emergency crews were still working to clear the bridge from the multi-vehicle accident following Friday’s rescue. With the semi-truck still hanging off the bridge, it currently remains closed.

Sharing a picture from Friday’s rescue operation, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg tweeted, “This is why our first responders are heroes. Thank you to @loukyfire @LMPD, @LouMetroES and all those who swiftly responded to an incident on the Second Street bridge where a tractor trailer went off the road. Your bravery is unmatched and we’re grateful for your lifesaving work.”

KHOU 11 reported that the semi-truck involved in Friday’s accident belongs to Sysco, a major food and appliance distributor. The company expressed its gratitude Friday in a statement for the quick action by emergency crews that led to the rescue of the driver.

“Sysco is enormously grateful to rescue services and law enforcement who quickly and safely resolved the accident on the Clark Memorial Bridge today,” Sysco stated. “We are thankful our Sysco colleague is safe and thank the first responders for their courageous efforts rescuing our driver.”