NEW ORLEANS (WWL) — A Louisiana man is alive thanks to a good Samaritan who rescued him after he plunged into the water beneath the famed Causeway bridge.
Several passing motorists saw the crash and they stopped and jumped into action.
"The good Samaritan actually saw the vehicle go in the water. He immediately stopped, looked over the rail the gentleman that was driving the truck was floating. The good Samaritan went into action, went in the water," said Sergeant Mike Viola of the Causeway police.
Another motorist had a rope and with the help of several others they pulled the driver and the good Samaritan from the water in the few minutes it took police and emergency responders to arrive.
"They did save the gentleman that went in the water. He is a hero, he helped save the guy's life, but like I said earlier, we don't encourage people to do that. We have equipment and we're specially trained to do those things."
Police say the driver got distracted when he reached for his cell phone and hit the railing, proceeding to ride the railing for 80 feet before his pickup truck went over.
Senator David Heitmeier says this latest crash once again brings up the issue of the out-of-date design of the guard rails on the bridge.
"The design, of course, was a 1956 design, so it's not meant or not designed for today's vehicles, so it is an issue that we need to pay attention to, address, and it is going to be a cost factor trying to get the dollars to fix that design," said Heitmeier.
Despite needing to keep up with the times, Heitmeier says it's still one of the safest bridges you can drive. He says drivers just need to watch their speed and remain cautious anytime they're behind the wheel.