A truck driver survived an early morning accident that left his vehicle floating in a river in Washington State on Thursday.
The incident happened shortly after 1 a.m. north of Orondo as 71 year old truck driver Conda Reddy was northbound on Highway 97 at mile marker 227, the Washington State Patrol said.
For unknown reasons, the truck veered off the highway and crashed through a guardrail down an embankment into the Columbia River.
A motorist who noticed rocks in the roadway called police. The responding trooper arrived to find a damaged guardrail and the tractor trailer floating in the river.
Reddy was able to get out of the cab of the truck and was climbing the river bank when rescue crews arrived on scene. Firefighters were able to bring him the rest of the way up the steep embankment using a stokes basket stretcher.
The Orondo Fire Department reported that “the semi-tractor was entirely submerged in the river” while the trailer was only “partially submerged.”
Reddy was transported to a nearby hospital with a possible concussion.
WSP says that the trailer was empty when the crash occurred as Reddy was reportedly en route to pick up a load of fruit in Brewster.
Road closures are possible on Highway 97 on Thursday as crews work to remove the vehicle from the river.