Truck driver takes plunge into water to avoid additional fatalities

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 1, 2007


Staff Reporter

GRAMERCY- A PSC truck driver may have saved more than one life at the risk of his own after an accident on Airline Highway on Thursday.

The PSC truck which was carrying non-hazardous waste materials from Marathon, was traveling north on Airline Highway in the right lane when a Buick shot out in front of the truck with little warning, causing the truck to make a choice between running the car over and going into the Blind River Canal according to Lt. David Detillier of the Gramercy Police.

The cab of the truck was halfway submerged in the shallow depths of the muddy canal and a rescue team was called in to assist.

&#8220The likelihood of death between a collision of an 18-wheeler and a car is high, so the driver really only had one choice,” said Detillier.

&#8220I am confident that our driver’s choice to go into the canal rather than to continue going forward saved the lives of the passengers in other vehicles,” said Wayne Stephens, transportation manager for PSC.

The Gramercy Search and Rescue team was on scene to assist with the accident. The rescue team helped the driver escape the water, but he refused medical assistance after the accident.

Two large 18-wheelers were called in an attempt to pull the truck out of the water. Divers hooked cables from both trucks to pull the submerged truck from the water.

Detiller said that at least two other vehicles were saved from what could have been a deadly accident had the driver not chosen to go into the water.

The driver of the Buick did stop to give his information and Detillier said that the Buick would probably be considered at fault.