Reporting Christie Ileto
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thrown off the highway into the Jones Falls. That’s what Baltimore Police say happened to a civilian that Baltimore City’s Department of Transportation now says was one of their workers.
Christie Ileto has more on the worker’s dramatic rescue and condition from Shock Trauma.
Both the Department of Transportation worker and a police officer are lucky to be alive. Both are recovering in Shock Trauma. And we’re told this isn’t the first time an accident like this has happened on the JFX.
A daring rescue for firefighters after a tow truck driver, who WJZ learns works for the Department of Transportation, is thrown over the wall of the JFX, spilling onto an island in the middle of the rushing waters in the Jones Falls below.
“I saw a body basically flop in the air, you know? It looked like a rag doll,” a man said.
Baltimore Police say the tow truck driver and police officer were responding to an accident in the southbound lanes during Friday rush hour.
“A second vehicle traveling southbound struck the vehicle involved in the initial accident. The police officer on scene was struck by this vehicle. He sustained an injury to his leg,” said Detective Jeremy Silbert, Baltimore City Police.
A WJZ photographer catches crews stretching a ladder across the rushing stream, using it to safely slide the victim onto a stretcher to shore.
The Department of Transportation tells WJZ: “The impact from the accident pushed the tow truck operator over the jersey wall of the JFX. Investigators believe he fell approximately 25 feet.”
This isn’t the first time an almost fatal accident has happened in this very spot. Just two years ago, another Baltimore City officer was thrown over the wall while responding to an accident.
“God was with her that she even survived it,” a woman said.
Officer Teresa Rigby was hit by a car that plowed into her cruiser, propelling her over the wall, breaking bones in her face and pelvis.
“There are going to be more tragedies here unless someone does something to figure out why there are so many accidents in this one spot,” said David Rocah, ACLU.
For now, it’s not clear if weather played a role in this latest accident.
You can see from our video, the tow truck driver was conscious and talking when he was rescued. Again, he is recovering at Shock Trauma along with the officer who has a leg injury.
The Department of Transportation is not releasing the name of the tow truck driver.
The accident remains under investigation.