December 22, 2005

Positivity: “It’s Christmastime. There Are Angels.”

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:15 am

It was the type of rescue that supposedly only happens in Hollywood movies. A truck driver was rescued from his crashed rig just before it blew, and no one was hurt seriously:

Daring rescue on I-75
Truck driver freed before fire erupts

LOCKLAND – Rick Newman knocked on his neighbor’s front door Monday afternoon on Shepherd Avenue, just as he always does when he wants to chat.

Henry Colwell wasn’t home. Someone else unexpectedly dropped by instead.

“I heard a noise, I looked back, and that truck was flying through the air,” Newman said. “It was like an atomic bomb, it was so loud.”

Newman saw a semi-truck crashing toward him, after a wreck forced the tractor-trailer off a northbound Interstate 75 overpass. It fell about three stories onto Colwell’s front lawn on Shepherd Avenue.

“It landed 10 feet from where I was standing,” Newman said.

The truck, which was carrying auto parts, landed on its side and wrapped around a pillar supporting the overpass.

Newman found the driver, Danny Faehr, of Florence, upside down and bleeding in the cab. He cut the seat belt and pulled him out. “Right as we got to the sidewalk, the truck exploded,” Newman said.

The wreck shut down all three northbound lanes of I-75 shortly before 1:40 p.m.. They reopened about 5:15 p.m.

A dump truck carrying iron pigments might have forced the tractor-trailer off the overpass and into Colwell’s yard, Lockland Fire Chief Bill Welsh said.

The dump truck rolled on its side during the wreck, scattering its cargo of pigments – which look like large chunks of charcoal – across the interstate.

The Ohio Department of Transportation checked the overpass to determine whether any structural damage occurred, and the highway was reopened.

Greg Bien drove by the accident just minutes after the flames began shooting from the truck.

“It was burning pretty good,” Bien said. “It’s a mess over there.”

Amber Lovins, 20, was sleeping in her bed about 50 feet away from where the truck landed.

“I heard a whole bunch of crashes,” Lovins said. “I came out, and it was on fire.”

Lovins pulled out her cell phone and began snapping photographs of the burning truck in her neighbor’s front yard.

….. Colwell, 67, was at the grocery store when the event he has feared for years happened.

“I’m glad I wasn’t here,” he said. “It probably would’ve scared me to death.”

Colwell plans to stay in his home – for now, at least.

….. The multi-vehicle wreck injured five people, none seriously.

Faehr, who survived the fall into Colwell’s yard and escaped the flames, suffered a broken hand, Welsh, the Lockland fire chief, said.

He was treated at Bethesda North Hospital and released.

“It’s Christmastime,” Welsh said of the relatively minor injuries caused by such a serious wreck. “There are angels.”

Lockland police continued to investigate Monday night.

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