Witnesses provide details about crash that sent driver over Causeway

Closer look at two-vehicle crash that sent driver over Causeway

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - We now have a closer look at a two-vehicle crash that sent a driver over the Causeway and into the lake in August.

Officials said the driver of a Chevy truck lost control and went over the edge after he was clipped by another vehicle.

We spoke with two of the good Samaritans who stopped to help save his life. Tommy Lofton and Seth Paridon couldn't believe their eyes when it happened.

"It was shocking, you know? I didn't expect to see that on the drive that morning. It's the first time I've seen somebody go over the bridge and hopefully the last time," said Lofton.

Surveillance video from the Causeway Commission shows a truck go over the southbound lanes on Aug. 8.

"When I got out of the car, I looked over the rail and as I was looking over the rail, the guy popped up out of the water at that moment and he just - big gasp of breath, and immediately started screaming, you know, 'What happened? Please help me,'" said Paridon.

With the help of another person who stopped, Lofton and Paridon immediately sprung into action. They had a rope in their car, tied a rescue knot and threw it to the driver down below. Soon, even more help would arrive.

"I just remember throwing it over the edge of the bridge and tying off the other end to the bridge and yelling down to the gentlemen who was holding on to the other rope to put this around him so hopefully we could hold onto him just in case he passed out or got exhausted or something like that," said Lofton.

And, when you consider just how bad the damage was to the victim's truck, Lofton and Paridon said it's nothing short of a miracle that the driver survived.

"The guard rail speared the windshield of the truck and it went through the front windshield clear out the back," said Paridon. "That rail missed that guy probably by less than a foot."

Lofton and Paridon commute over the Causeway for work and tell us they have rope in their car just in case. After seeing what happened last month, they now tell us they also carry life rings with them.

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