Big-Rig Driver Escapes Cab Dangling Off Bridge | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Big-Rig Driver Escapes Cab Dangling Off Bridge

Road to be plowed, treated before being reopened to traffic



    An 18-wheeler that was dangling from an I-45 bridge was removed from the roadway Tuesday. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015)

    Crews worked for several hours Tuesday to pull a tractor-trailer dangling off an icy highway bridge back onto the roadway.

    While crossing a small bridge on Interstate 45 near Stuart Simpson Road Monday afternoon, the big-rig's cab slammed through a guardrail, left the road and immediately turned toward the small creek below.

    The truck's driver managed to slip out of his seat and into the creek below. He then climbed back up to the median where he called police for help.

    Help soon arrived, though efforts to remove the truck Monday were slowed by ice on the roadway, live electrical wires on the ground and not having enough equipment available to successfully pull the truck back onto the roadway.

    Six wreckers were called Tuesday to secure and pull the cab back onto the bridge. After several hours, and several tense moments where the cables used to hold the rig tore through the trailer, the cab was successfully secured back on the bridge.

    "On a grade of 1 to 10, this was about a 15, this is probably one of the most difficult recoveries I've ever been involved in," said Joseph McIntyre, his family-run towing service was one of the companies involved.

    Crews Work to Remove Semi Dangling Off BridgeCrews Work to Remove Semi Dangling Off BridgeWreckers work to clear a big rig dangling from the overpass I-45 at Simpson Stuart Road. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015)

    The truck hung from the bridge for nearly 24 hours.

    "It was just the situation the truck was in, not being able to get to nose of it, not having a lot of room to work, being limited in the space of the freeway," he said.

    The group had to secure the truck with chains, wrapping around the trailer and hooking the cab. That was Johnny Monroe’s job, he is the newest guy in the group.

    "I chose to, I asked to do it," he said. "I'm just glad it's over with and everyone's safe."
    Driver Escapes Cab Dangling Off BridgeDriver Escapes Cab Dangling Off BridgeThe driver of a big rig was able to escape a crash that left his trailer dangling off a highway bridge in Dallas Monday afternoon. (Published Monday, Feb. 23, 2015)

    Monroe says he didn't think too much about the situation and its risk.
    "A little bit but like I said if it was my time to go, it's God's will, just doing my job," said Monroe.

    The crew tried righting the cab several times, and was finally successful.

    "It was just honestly absolute relief, we didn't tear our equipment up we got the job done and myself, my guys and all guys helping us we get to go home safe," said McIntyre.

    Big-Rig Dangles Off South Dallas BridgeBig-Rig Dangles Off South Dallas Bridge

    Once the truck is towed away, crews will install a temporary guardrail and then plow and sand the bridge before reopening it to traffic. NBC 5 has learned the truck was carrying raw rubber to be made into tires.

    Lt. Matthew Edwards with the Dallas Police Department said Monday the driver of the truck was fortunate his cab came to rest where it did and that the driver was, "very lucky he got out alive."

    North Texas Roads Clearing After Ice StormNorth Texas Roads Clearing After Ice StormIt's been a slow process in some areas but North Texas roadways are clearing after ice crippled much of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015)

    While it's not known what caused the driver to lose control, the bridge did appear to be covered with ice. Sleet from a winter storm turned into up to an inch of ice on North Texas roadways overnight Sunday into Monday morning, leading to hundreds of reported crashes.

    NBC 5's Ben Russell, Ray Villeda and Julie Fine contributed to this report.