“He could have walked away from it if he weren’t hanging off the side of a bridge.”, one rescuer said in amazement after they successfully pulled a Magnolia man from the shredded remains of his work truck on Highway 355 East Tuesday morning with remarkably minor injuries.
Kenny Carr, of Magnolia, was traveling west on Highway 355 East, just west of the Hempstead-Nevada County Line, shortly after 10 a.m. when he lost control of the 1-ton Chevrolet work truck, drove partially off the north side of the highway and struck the end of the concrete and steel side-rail of one of the bridges over Bodcaw Creek. The impact destroyed the concrete end-post and obliterated Carr’s truck, sending the work-bed into the creek and leaving Carr and what remained of the truck cab dangling over the bridge railing above the creek.
When Hempstead County Deputies and Arkansas State Police arrived on scene, they found Carr awake and responsive with the upper part of his body sticking out of the driver window. Patmos Fire Department and Pafford EMS responded to the scene but they were not able to rescue Carr safely until other equipment could be called in. Firefighters secured what was left of Carr’s truck to their rescue truck with a chain to make sure the truck did not fall into the water and medics gave Carr oxygen to aid his breathing while they waited.
Hope Fire Department was contacted and requested to bring their ladder truck so they could get above Carr and secure him in a harness and get him back onto the bridge. Red River Towing was also contacted and responded with their Kenworth outfitted with a rotating bed.
Care remained responsive with rescuers throughout the entire ordeal, drinking water and taking oxygen occasionally. Care said the only thing really hurting him was his right hand though he appeared to have a minor amount of bleeding from his head.
Once Red River’s Rotator and Hope Fire Department were on scene, deputies and firefighters helped Carr secure himself into a make-shift harness and hooked him to the cables on the Rotator’s boom. Carr was gently lifted out and clear of the truck and brought onto the bridge where medics and firefighters helped him onto the waiting cot and transferred him to the ambulance. Carr was transported to St. Michael Health Systems in Texarkana to be checked out.
John Wagner, Carr’s employer at JWC Construction in Magnolia, said this is a miracle story that Carr survived the crash. Wagner said Carr was on his way to Fulton to pick up grass at the time of the crash. He said Carr was very blessed and he would have to come to church with him. He said Carr is a great guy and his best hand and he is very thankful he survived with relatively minor injuries.
Rescuers and law enforcement were amazed by the scene. After years of working crashes, all were glad to see Carr ok and safely rescued from a crash where, initially seeing it, no one expected to find a survivor, much less one relatively unscathed.
State Trooper Henley investigated the crash.