BREEZEWOOD, Pa. (KDKA/AP) - Officials postponed plans to close an 86-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike because workers needed more time to prepare to retrieve a tractor-trailer that went over an embankment during the weekend's snow storm.
The big rig is dangling off an embankment along the Turnpike in Bedford County. The cab twisted sideways and the trailer is hanging by a thread.
Arlyn Satanek posted a picture on his Facebook page, saying:
"This happened right in front of me. I still don't know how I got stopped. That truck is hanging off a cliff right now. Dear God, it's bad out!"
That's when Satanek and several other bystanders jumped into action to save the trucker stuck in his cab.
Satanek posted on his Facebook page: "We got the driver out and a bunch of people formed a chain to pull him up onto the road. The cab is leveled. I don't know how he survived. He is not well, but he survived. "
Since then, the truck has remained in the same spot, dangling over the hillside.
Instead of closing today like originally planned, the westbound lanes will be closing for approximately three hours starting about 9 a.m. Thursday from Breezewood to New Stanton so crews can remove it.
Here's the posted detour: Exit at the Breezewood Interchange, take I-70 east 24 miles to exit 1A then to exit 14B Uniontown following 40 west to U.S. 119 north, and then re-enter the Turnpike at the New Stanton Interchange.
Turnpike officials say the more than 100-mile detour is necessary because of the volume of traffic being re-routed.
The same eastbound stretch of turnpike had to be closed Sunday so crews could remove more than 500 snowbound vehicles from the westbound lanes.
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