Tractor-trailer overturns at turnpike ramp
Oct 5, 2013 at 9:50 AM
A tractor-trailer hauling steel coils overturns on the highway.
The driver is stuck in the wreckage, unable to climb to safety as motor oil, antifreeze and God knows what else spills from the mangled mess.
You have two choices: You can stand by, idly, and wait for rescuers to arrive, or you can leap into action and help the poor guy out of this pickle.
In the time it just took you to make your decision, Richie Kimble already made up his mind. Thursday afternoon, the 26-year-old Sandusky man was driving to Cleveland when a tractor-trailer overturned in front him at the Ohio Turnpike on-ramp at Ohio 57.
Kimble, a mailroom supervisor at the Sandusky Register, quickly leapt out of his car and climbed onto the overturned cab, yanking open the passenger-side door and hopping down inside to help the disoriented driver climb to safety.
He’s got the photos to prove it — his girlfriend was with him, and she used her cell phone to snap pictures of the impromptu rescue.
“I just didn’t want to see that catch on fire and explode with him in it,” Kimble said. “It was all out of reaction. I did what I thought was best.”
The driver seemed a bit disoriented and was having trouble getting out of the truck cab because of a knee injury, Kimble said.
The truck was hauling steel coils when it overturned. The driver — James Haines, 51, of Warren — was later cited for unsafe speed, Highway Patrol Trooper Elizabeth Grabel said.
In the end, Haines suffered a knee injury, but he was otherwise OK, Grabel said.
Kimble said he waited around with Haines at the scene until the ambulance arrived. “He was conscious, but he was out of it a little bit — shaken up real bad,” Kimble said. “He told me ‘thank you’ a lot.”
The crash scene was thick with activity Thursday, particularly as it also served as a launching-off point for Elyria Chronicle-Telegram photographer Bruce Bishop to test out some new hardware. Bishop uses an aerial drone outfitted with a camera, allowing him to snap high-altitude photos of news events and such.
“It’s like a perspective you have never seen before,” Bishop said. One of the drone photos accompanies this story above.