HL:Truck driver survives plunge off bridge in western New
Brunswick
WOODSTOCK, N.B. (CP) - Rescue crews were astounded after a truck
driver walked away after the cab of his tractor trailer fell 15
metres from a bridge in New Brunswick this week.
Woodstock RCMP received calls of a tractor trailer hanging from
the guard rail on the bridge at the Meduxnekeag River on the
Trans-Canada Highway, around 8:30 p.m on Monday.
When RCMP, ambulance and fire crews arrived, the cab portion of
the truck had torn away and fallen off the bridge to the river bed
below.
To their shock, the driver was walking up the steep snow-covered
embankment to meet them.
"It's a miracle how far the truck fell. I can't believe it. He
just walked up the embankment," Woodstock Fire Chief Ricky
Nicholson said Tuesday.
"We got a call to bring in the jaws of life that a
tractor-trailer was hanging off the bridge. You expect the worse
case scenario."
The truck driver, who is from North Sydney, N.S., was taken to
hospital with a gash on his head and broken ribs.
He remained in hospital for observation, and officials listed
his condition as "fair" late Tuesday afternoon.
Jerry Marchand, safety manager for Tom MacDonald Trucking in
Sydney, N.S., spoke to his driver from the hospital once doctors
had treated his injuries.
"He couldn't believe how lucky he was. He fell that far with
his seat belt on," Marchand said Tuesday.
Marchand said the driver said he remembered falling off the
bridge, but must have been knocked out for a few minutes after the
fall.
"He saw people coming down the hill and he got out of the truck
and started up the hill to meet them," Marchand said.
RCMP Corp. Rick Ross said the accident is still under
investigation, but weather conditions may have played a role in the
crash.
"The roads were very slippery. It was snowing and very
slippery," he said.
The Trans-Canada Highway outside Woodstock remained closed as
crews repaired damage to the bridge which is missing up to 15
metres of guard rails.
There is no estimate of how much damage the crash caused to the
bridge or the truck. (New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal)

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)