BREAKING: Driver injured when dump truck crashes over parkway bridge

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Photos by Bill Barlow Photos by Bill Barlow

BEESLEYS POINT – Workers participated in a dramatic rescue Friday afternoon, smashing a windshield and pulling the driver from a submerging three-axle dump truck that went over the rails on the Garden State Parkway at the Great Egg Harbor Bay bridge.

The accident occurred at mile marker 29 just after 2:30 p.m., closing a southbound lane, state police said Friday, May 23.  As of 4:27 p.m., state police had issued a notice that both southbound lanes on the bridge would soon be closing for crime scene and fatal accident investigation teams to respond.

Witnesses say the truck lost control and tumbled over the guardrail, falling about 30 feet to the water next to a construction barge.

“We saw him go in. It looked like a whale. There was a huge splash and it was gone,” said Mike Pagano of ShorePointsLandscapingOceanCity, who was working at a nearby property when the crash took place.

He said he looked up when he heard the truck’s airbrakes, and saw it spin out of control in the heavy Memorial Day weekend traffic heading into Cape MayCounty for the weekend.

Other witnesses confirmed that the rear of the truck hit the guardrail, and toppled over the side, sinking in the deep water.

“We looked in the water and we could see the guy scratching at the window,” said Jason Armbruster of Blackwood, who was working on the nearby barge at the time. He said he and another worker, Aaron Grace, entered the water and he smashed the windshield with a hammer. He said someone handed him a knife and he cut the seatbelt, while Grace held the man’s head above water. They pulled him up by his belt and got him out of the water.

State Police Capt. Stephen Jones said that the driver was flown to the trauma center at AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center City Campus in Atlantic City after being pulled out of his truck, which was almost completely submerged in the bay.

Jones said the driver was conscious when he was pulled from the truck, but he was seriously injured. No other cars were involved, and witnesses said traffic was backed up to EggHarborTownship.

Jones said that a witness at the scene saw the truck hit the left side of the southbound bridge, then crashed into the right side and went over the side. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Traffic was already becoming heavy at the time of the accident, with tourists making their way down to Cape MayCounty for the Memorial Day weekend. Drivers are advised to take an alternate route, either through OceanCity or through Somers Point and Mays Landing.


Jason Armbruster after a dramatic rescue Friday afternoon. He and fellow worker Aaron Grace pulled the driver from a submerged dump truck after smashing the windshield. The truck fell from the Garden State Parkway bridge. Jason Armbruster after a dramatic rescue Friday afternoon. He and fellow worker Aaron Grace pulled the driver from a submerged dump truck after smashing the windshield. The truck fell from the Garden State Parkway bridge.

 

 

A Google traffic report of the area near the accident. A Google traffic report of the area near the accident.

 

 


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