Kentucky: Woman rescued from truck dangling off bridge in Louisville

A driver has been rescued from the cab of a truck that was left dangling dramatically over the edge of a bridge in Louisville, Kentucky, after her vehicle crashed through a barrier.

The woman was unharmed, officials say. Video showed rescue workers descending to pull her out of the cab.

Attention now turns to how to remove the truck from its precarious position, as it hangs over the Ohio River.

It is not yet clear how the incident happened. The bridge has been closed.

Police have confirmed there was a “motor vehicle collision” on the bridge, saying they expected the route to be close “for a period of time”.

Firefighters confirmed the driver was pulled from the truck using ropes and ladders, and was back safely on the bridge in about 45 minutes. They added that nobody ever entered the water below.

“She held it together like a champ,” Louisville Fire Department Chief Brian O’Neill said in a news conference, describing the woman as very calm throughout her ordeal.

“But I will say, the second she hit solid ground she was able to let those emotions go and just have that relief. It’s a pretty impressive thing.”

He added that it was “extremely lucky” that the vehicle never plunged into the water, roughly 75ft (23 meters) below.

One of the rescuers, firefighter Bryce Carden, said his training prepared him for the encounter, telling reporters “we’ve certainly done some crazy things but this tops it so far”.

Police urged people to stay away from the scene.

The city’s mayor, Craig Greenberg, saluted those who “swiftly responded”, saying: “Your bravery is unmatched and we’re grateful for your lifesaving work.”

The vehicle has been described as a semi-truck, consisting of a cab which tows a trailer.

The driver of another vehicle involved in the Friday afternoon crash was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries.

The structure in question – the Clark Memorial Bridge, also known as the Second Street Bridge – connects Kentucky with southern Indiana.

Sysco, the company that owns the truck, released a statement saying it was “enormously grateful to rescue services and law enforcement who quickly and safely resolved the accident”.

“We are thankful our Sysco colleague is safe and thank the first responders for their courageous efforts rescuing our driver.

“Safety is a priority at Sysco, and we are cooperating with the law enforcement investigation.”