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Truck driver feared for life after wreck left him dangling off I-40 bridge

The driver of a tractor-trailer that was left dangling over the edge of the Interstate 40 in downtown after a wreck Friday said he feels lucky to be alive.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: August 30, 2011
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/articleid/3599362/1/pictures/1498026">Photo - INTERSTATE 40 / SEMI TRUCK / ACCIDENT / WRECK: Oklahoma City firemen work to rescue a semi truck driver who's trailer load of gravel flipped and came to rest hanging over the edge of the I-40 Crosstown Expressway Bridge in Oklahoma City Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
INTERSTATE 40 / SEMI TRUCK / ACCIDENT / WRECK: Oklahoma City firemen work to rescue a semi truck driver who's trailer load of gravel flipped and came to rest hanging over the edge of the I-40 Crosstown Expressway Bridge in Oklahoma City Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

“The driver's side window, I couldn't break it, and I couldn't open the door,” Bentley said.

An off-duty firefighter witnessed the crash and quickly came to Bentley's aid. Emergency crews also arrived, but they wanted to secure the truck with chains before attempting to get him out to prevent the truck from tipping over the side of the bridge.

“I really wanted out of there,” Bentley said. “When the traffic goes by, that bridge, she shakes pretty good. I did not want to be in that truck.”

It was about an hour before firefighters put a safety harness on Bentley and got him out of the truck. He said emergency crews “did a damn good job.”

Bentley was taken to a hospital where he was treated for minor scrapes and bruises.

“That is by far the worst wreck I've been in,” Bentley said. “I'm back to driving today, but it's not the same. You are pretty skittish. You see a car moving or someone doesn't signal, you really start paying attention to them.”


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