NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - The driver of a tractor trailer saved from the cab hanging over the side of the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel Monday has been charged with reckless driving.
Sgt. Michelle Anaya with the Virginia State Police said the driver of the tractor trailer was traveling southbound, lost control of the truck which caused her to hit the wall. When she struck the right side of the wall, the driver overcorrected and hit the left side of wall. The truck overturned and was left hanging off the side of the bridge just before 9 a.m.
Anaya told WAVY.com the driver, who was trapped inside, was extracted by the Newport News and Suffolk fire departments. Almira Ribic, 43, of Newport News was transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center. She was treated and released from the hospital, according to hospital spokesman Peter Glagola.
Northbound traffic reopened around 1:45 p.m. and the southbound lanes reopened at approximately 3:20 p.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene after crews were alerted by Suffolk dispatchers. Lt. Scott Williams told WAVY.com there was a potential of fuel going into the water. Around noon Monday, Anaya confirmed 150 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled, causing a hazmat situation.
Coast Guard Cutter Shearwater responded to the scene and a 1,000 yard radius was established to ensure responder safety.
"This incident highlights the excellent and immediate response by multiple agencies," said Capt. John Little, the commander of Sector Hampton Roads. "It is the result of partnerships and joint training conducted within the Hampton Roads emergency response community."
The trucking company Ribic worked for, California Coartage Express has 260 drivers. Within the past two years, the company has been involved in two fatal accidents and three accidents with injuries. Last year, their trucks logged almost 9 million miles on the roads.
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