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Driver survives after truck crashes 50 feet off New Bern bridge onto highway below

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 12:48 PM EDT|Updated: May. 13, 2022 at 3:59 PM EDT
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The truck fell 50 feet to a road below.
The truck fell 50 feet to a road below.(WITN/NCDOT)

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - A driver is lucky to be alive after his truck crashed off a U.S. 17 bridge, and fell 50 feet onto the road below.

It happened around 9:00 a.m. this morning just outside of New Bern.

First Sergeant John Edwards with the Highway Patrol says the flatbed truck was heading north on the U.S. 17 bridge when the driver lost control and crashed through the side of the bridge. The truck landed rear-end first onto Howell Road.

Edwards says the driver was taken to ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville with a head injury, but it does not appear life-threatening.

The crash tore a 10-foot wide hole in the side of the bridge.

This photo shows how much of the bridge was broken by the crash.
This photo shows how much of the bridge was broken by the crash.(NCDOT)

The DOT temporarily bolted a metal guardrail to that section, but next week they plan to make a permanent repair and reform the concrete that was broken away.

A spokesman said they will need to close the left lane of the bridge, frame the damaged section, pour the concrete, let it cure, and then remove the framework. The DOT expects that to take most of next week to complete.

Troopers continue to investigate what led to the crash. Edwards says an official release will come next week once the investigation finishes.

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