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Occupants Saved By Daring Rescue After Big Rig Crashes, Dangles Off Yolo Bypass

WOODLAND (CBS13) – A big rig crashed off of the Yolo Bypass Friday afternoon, leaving the driver and passenger dangling off the side of the causeway.

Traffic camera video shows the terrifying moments for the grandfather and grandson inside of the big rig cab, which suddenly swerved across the Yolo Bypass and crashed off of the guardrail.

"Not every day do we go to a vehicle accident where there's a report of a semi dangling from the bridge," said Battalion Chief Erik Komula with the Woodland Fire Department.

Woodland firefighters responded to the crash with just minutes to get the people inside to safety.

"From time of the setup of the truck, the ladder extended to the semi, to removal of the patients was 12 minutes," Komula said.

Komula explains his crews used aerial rescues to extract the patients, a training tactic they don't use often.

"It's a very rare occurrence. We put a firefighter in a rescue harness and have him attached to the end of the ladder," Komula said.

The rescuers then lowered down to the cab of the big rig, attached a harness to the driver and passenger, then pulled them to safety.

"They were very happy very grateful to be back on the ground," Komula said.

First responders say the patients, who were dangling 60 feet off the ground, are lucky to be alive.

"They are very fortunate that there were no injuries," said Officer Jaime with California Highway Patrol.

The Woodland Fire Department says the last time they responded to an accident like this on the bypass was a few years ago, and the crash was caused by wind. In this case, CHP says the investigation is still ongoing.

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