Truck Dangles Off New Orleans Interstate

Rescue crews needed almost two hours to remove the driver from a truck that dangled off an overpass Tuesday afternoon -- a crash that closed the road for the second time in less than a day.

Officer Garry Flot, of the New Orleans Police Department, said the driver apparently lost control of the truck, which swerved sharply, struck a concrete divider at the intersection of I-610 and I-10 near the Jefferson Parish line and bounced over a guardrail.

The cab's windshield and other parts flew off the side of the interstate to the ground below. The metal rear door also flew off and hit a dump truck, but no one was injured by the impact.

The truck was secured to a tow truck to assure the cab would not plunge off the interstate. Members of the New Orleans Fire Department Rescue Squad then extended an aerial ladder from the eastbound lane of I-10 to the westbound side of I-610, where the cab was hanging.

A member of the rescue squad climbed the ladder to the door but could not open it until he used a hydraulic spreader.

He then climbed back on the bridge and the ladder was repositioned, extending it nearer to the driver.

Two rescue squad members climbed to the injured driver, placed a safety harness on him and helped him out of the cab onto a spine board on the ladder. The rescue squad members brought the driver to safety, where EMS was waiting to attend him.

He was taken to Elmwood Medical Center for treatment. Witnesses said he appeared to have a head injury, but so far, there's no official word on his condition.

Flot said the driver was cited for "failure to use reasonable vigilance."

As crews were working to clear the wreckage, another crash occurred along westbound I-610 at Elysian Fields Avenue. On the other side of the interstate, a wreck took place in the eastbound lanes near Franklin Avenue.

The wrecks occurred near the same spot where an 18-wheeler with a double trailer lost control of his truck, slammed into a concrete barrier and rolled over late Monday night. The crash caused traffic to slow in the area throughout the morning commute.

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