A tractor-trailer driver in Massachusetts was lucky to walk away unscathed after his semi skidded across two lanes of traffic and plunged off a bridge into the frigid Charles River in Weston, Mass., last weekend.
Video of the dramatic crash, which was released by the State Police Association of Massachusetts, shows the tractor-trailer driving off the edge of the bridge. As it falls and the trailer’s cabin hits the water, the truck almost flips upside down before making a hard landing on its side.
The police association said that the driver escaped the frigid waters and climbed on top of the tractor-trailer to wait for help. State Police, Weston Fire Department and other units responded to assist with the rescue. The driver, who could not swim, was taken to the hospital but was found to be unhurt, police said.
Weston is about 15 miles west of downtown Boston, and the entire New England area was hit hard by a snowstorm just the day before. Boston’s official weather record site, Logan International Airport, measured 8.5 inches from the storm last Friday, and the surrounding areas to the west received anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of accumulation.
In addition to the fresh snowfall, a wave of cold air swept through southern New England in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Weston hit a low temperature of 3 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday before moderating to a high of 31, which is 10 degrees below the average high temperature there at this time of year. The normal low in Weston at this time of year is 22 degrees. The crash occurred at around noon when the air temperature had reached 25 degrees in Weston.
“He was just saying he was really cold,” Weston’s Deputy Fire Chief Justin Woodside told WFXT-TV. “By the time that the state police called us and we got to the call and responded to the call say seven, eight, nine-minute mark. So he had already been wet in what was probably the low 30-degree water.”
The truck was carrying mail and packages for the U.S. Postal Service in Brockton, many of which were rescued from the icy Charles River. Temperatures in the river were about 35 degrees on Saturday morning.
According to WBTS-TV, the truck split in half while it was in the water, sending some packages floating down the river. Postal inspectors responded to the crash scene and local officials said the postal inspector would help take care of all the packages that rescuers were unable to grab from the river.
Law enforcement officials and other first responders in the region were kept busy the day before this crash as numerous accidents occurred during the snowstorm throughout New England.