Posted: Sunday, 01 June 2014 5:15AM
Motorist who drove off Causeway bridge saved by passers-by
A 26-year old Destrehan man remains hospitalized after his pickup truck struck the Causeway bridge railing and plunged into Lake Pontchartrain Saturday afternoon.
It happen around 3 p.m. on the southbound side of the Causeway, near mile marker two.
Several passing motorists who saw the crash stopped and helped the man to safety.
"A good Samaritan actually saw the vehicle go into the water, he stopped, looked over the rail and the gentleman that was driving was floating so he went into the water," says Causeway Police Sgt. Mike Viola.
Another motorist had a rope and with the help of several others, they pulled the driver and the good Samaritan from the water in the few minutes it took police and emergency responders to arrive.
Viola says they saved the man's life. "But we don't encourage people to do that because we have the equipment and are specially trained to do those things."
Police say the driver got distracted when he reached for his cell phone, which caused him to hit the railing. The truck slid along the railing for 80 feet before it went over.
The driver was taken to East Jefferson Hospital after complaining about some back pain, but his condition is still unknown.
No one else was injured during the rescue.
The Causeway southbound lanes were closed during the rescue and were reopened around 4 p.m.