A Massachusetts police officer and an anonymous bystander worked together to save the life of a 73-year-old asphalt truck driver who drove off a bridge into a pond Thursday in Rochester, Mass.
Francis J. Cabral of Dartmouth, Mass. remained hospitalized in critical condition today with severe chest injuries following the 6:45 a.m. crash yesterday on Mary’s Pond Road. A man who witnessed the crash and declined to be identified jumped into the water and held Cabral’s head above water until Rochester Police Officer Nate Valente arrived on scene to help, according to wcvb.com.
“I got in the water as quick as I could and was able to cut him lose from a piece of weather stripping that was holding him in, and we were able to keep him head above water long enough for fire personnel to arrive,” Valente told turnto10.com. “One of the biggest challenges was the fluid spill. The oil and diesel fuel it made it very slippery and hard to maneuver to get yourself in a safe position to help.”
Cabral was life-flighted to Rhode Island Hospital where as of today he was still listed in critical condition. Floating absorption pads were used to soak up the diesel fuel and oil from the Peterbilt truck which is owned by Rochester Bituminous Products in Rochester, Mass.
Overhead power and communication lines had to be temporarily removed so that a crane could pull the truck from the water. The cause of the accident is still under investigation. The narrow bridge is often used as a short-cut by truck drivers, according to boston.com.