EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - The Georgia State Patrol is investigating a crash that sent a truck plunging into the Savannah River off of I-95 northbound, near the South Carolina line on Wednesday.
WTOC was there all afternoon, and the scene was a crazy one. The bridge was down to one lane for several hours, but has since reopened. There is however, still a lot of residual traffic. It took much longer than usual to clear the area, because this was not your normal crash scene.
Traffic was almost at a standstill for several hours. From the car, it was hard to really know what was going on. That's because most of the action was happening under the bridge.
A white truck, along with two porta-pottys, were sitting in the water after colliding with a tractor-trailer.
"The truck that went over the bridge was in front of the tractor-trailer. He did get struck from behind, causing his vehicle to go over the guardrail and into the river," said Sgt. Chris Rodewolt, GSP.
When investigators arrived, they found the driver of the truck sitting on the roof of the truck.
"Port Wentworth Fire was able to get a line down to him and a life vest, and he was able to be secure until we got a boat here," said Sgt. Rodewolt.
Rincon Fire and Rescue pulled the patient from the river with assistance from Savannah Fire and Emergency Service marine unit. He was taken to the hospital, but the mission was far from over. How were they going to get the truck out of the water?
"Can we get it from the bridge. You know that's the question on everyone's mind," said Sgt. Rodewolt.
They were going to try to pull it out from the bridge with a heavy-duty tow truck, lowering a line and wrapping it around the wreckage. As they began to lift it out of the water, it was finally visible just how bad the crash was. It was told to tell the truck once carried portable toilets.
It is still unclear who is responsible for the crash, but police say once again, this is a reminder to be extra safe on the roads, especially when you're around tractor-trailers.
"My best advice is - slow down. Don't text, and pay attention to everything that's going on around you," Sgt. Rodewolt said.
The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured. The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital. The extent of his injuries is unclear at this time.