Photos depict dramatic Causeway Bridge rescue, new details emerge
Good Samaritans were in full action by the time Causeway Police arrived on the scene of a truck in the water.
Dramatic pictures of the frantic effort Saturday afternoon to save a driver were taken by Dave Grunfeld of NOLA.com the Times Picayune.
Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou says the driver of the pickup was reaching for his cell phone and lost control.
Pictures provided by the Causeway Commission show the truck's path marked in red as it careened over the concrete and into the lake. A huge chunk of the railing is missing.
"The gentleman that stopped right behind him had a gentleman that stopped right behind had a floatation device life preserver and he jumped in and helped the driver of truck put the life preserver on," Dufrechou said.
The Good Samaritan's name is Alvin Pike. Wearing a white t-shirt and ton of courage, Pike went in for the victim in the water.
The 26-year-old driver of the submerged truck had several life jackets in his backseat. His mother tells FOX 8 she asked him to take them out of a boat that was being repaired.
In a matter of minutes, others passing by stopped and helped pull both men back to the deck.
The driver suffered injuries and is recovering from surgery.
According to the Causeway Commission a vehicle goes off the southbound side of the causeway on average once every five years.
The commission is working with Texas A&M on a series of options to improve guardrails. The southbound span guardrail is just 25 inches high. The newer northbound span guardrail is 31-inches high.
The southbound bridge is the original 1956 bridge railing. It is 6 inches lower than the northbound bridge.
The top three options for a new railing on the Causeway will be tested out this summer.
Causeway officials have now applied to the federal government for a $50 million dollar to try and raise the rails as high as 46 inches. Toll increases may be considered in the future.
Dufrechou says the best solution for the bridge will be decided by the fall.
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