Traffic shut down for more than seven hours on Houston’s Eastex Freeway yesterday after the driver of a truck traveling on the inbound lanes of the North Loop fell 46 feet off an overpass.
It’s amazing he survived and no one else was hurt, officials said.
Police said the driver was headed northbound around 10:30 a.m. when he took an exit ramp toward Interstate 610 westbound.
The driver told the Houston Police that a car cut him off, and he swerved out of the lane to avoid it. The truck ran along the guardrail for 250 feet, dangled briefly, then tumbled over the side onto Highway 59.
The truck, which was hauling heavy metal equipment for trucking company Safe Tow, narrowly missed off-duty sheriff deputy, Ruth Recio, who was driving by.
“I saw debris, smoke, dust. We were covered in it, there were three vehicles along side. Thank God no one was underneath it; it is basically a miracle that no one got killed,” Recio told Local 2.
Reico immediately called 911 and looked for ways to get the screaming driver out of the vehicle. She managed to unbuckle his seatbelt and apply pressure to his bleeding head, but the drier was wedged against the steering wheel.
Fire fighters arrived on the scene and worked for more than an hour to get through the tangled wreckage. Eventually, they had to pull the driver to safety through roof of the cab, according to the Houston Fire Department.
The driver was still breathing when responders took him to the hospital and his injuries were non-life threatening, officials said.
Safe Tow President Ken Ulmer told Local 2 that the driver has worked for the company for over 15 years and is in good health.
“He has had a recent physical, the driver is in good condition, I have no reason for there to be any other reason for this other than to be cut off,” Ulmer said.