Dramatic Bridge Rescue
Newport News Master Fire Fighter Scott Dye holds onto the driver of a tractor trailer that crashed on the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel on Monday. The driver had been trapped in the cab, which had been left hanging over the side of the bridge in the crash.

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Driver rescued from bridge wreck

Published 10:14pm Monday, April 8, 2013

Suffolk and Newport News firefighters teamed up for a dramatic rescue after a Monday morning accident left a tractor-trailer dangling precariously over the edge of the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.

Newport News’ Master Fire Fighter Scott Dye rappelled from a platform owned by the city of Suffolk to rescue the driver of the tractor-trailer, 43-year-old Almira Ribic of Newport News. Ribic had lost control of her 2005 Freight Liner on the Newport News side of the southbound lanes about 8:48 a.m. The truck drifted to the right, struck the bridge and overturned, with the cab of the truck dangling above the water.

The truck caught fire, and about 150 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the bridge and into the water. The U.S. Coast Guard responded to clean up the hazardous material in the water, while other crews cleaned the spill on the bridge.

Ribic was wearing her safety belt at the time of the accident, said Sgt. Michelle Anaya of the Virginia State Police. Ribic suffered minor injuries and was charged with reckless driving.

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