World

US driver rescued after crash leaves lorry dangling over side of bridge

Firefighter Bryce Carden abseiled down and lifted the woman to safety.

The lorry was left dangling off the Clark Memorial Bridge over the Ohio River (Louisville Division of Fire via AP)
Truck Dangling Bridge The lorry was left dangling off the Clark Memorial Bridge over the Ohio River (Louisville Division of Fire via AP) (AP)

Dramatic photos have been released of the rescue of a US lorry driver after she crashed off the edge of a bridge.

The woman was pulled from her cab from over the side of the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge connecting Louisville, Kentucky, to southern Indiana.

She was unharmed but three other cars were involved in the crash, and two people were taken to hospital with possibly life-threatening injuries, according to Louisville Metro Police.

Louisville firefighter Bryce Carden rescues the driver (Louisville Division of Fire via AP)
Truck Dangling Bridge Louisville firefighter Bryce Carden rescues the driver (Louisville Division of Fire via AP) (AP)

At a press conference Saturday, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said one person remains in hospital with serious injuries.

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

The truck was removed from the bridge at around 8pm on Friday.

The bridge carries about 24,000 vehicles a day over the Ohio River. Officials said at a press conference that the bridge is safe and passed an inspection last year, but acknowledged that its four lanes are relatively narrow.

The accident was reported shortly after noon on Friday.

Bryce Carden was praised for his bravery (Louisville Division of Fire via AP)
Truck Dangling Bridge Bryce Carden was praised for his bravery (Louisville Division of Fire via AP) (AP)

After that, it took about 40 minutes to set up a rope system and get a firefighter, Bryce Carden, ready to abseil down to the cab, hook the driver up to a safety harness and lift her safely back to the road, Louisville fire chief Brian O’Neill said.

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

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

Kentucky’s state highway engineer James Ballinger said on Saturday that while the bridge will need repairs after the crash, particularly to a pedestrian walkway, its structural integrity was not compromised.