Rescue units were put to the test Tuesday night, August 5, 2014 when an SUV carrying six people crashed on the General W.K. Wilson, Jr. Bridge crossing over the Mobile River Delta.
It resulted in one fatality. Four of the passengers were still in the vehicle when it went over the side and into the water.
It was about 7:30 Tuesday evening when the desperate call went out. Rescue crews from multiple jurisdictions responded. One of those agencies was the Alabama Marine Police.
“When I pulled up there was two boats already there…two of the rescue boats with local fire departments,” Officer Jessie Peacock said. “They were lifting someone into one of the vessels as I was pulling up. Creola I believe it was has rappelled off the bridge and was packaging the patients. They were putting them on back boards, neck braces…taking care of their wounds.”
Peacock assisted rescuing two of the victims from the water. All four were taken by boat to Cliffs Landing where three were transported to the hospital by ambulance and one by helicopter. Peacock says things could have turned out much worse.
“If they would not have landed in the water, the landing would have been much harder or in this case as you’re referring to the deeper water, yeah the vehicle could have submerged before the individuals was able to exit the vehicle. It was completely submerged. I’m not sure how they got out. Someone inside the vehicle had to help them out because there was no one else there,” Peacock explained.
Fox 10 News went by boat on Wednesday to the scene of the crash to get some perspective on what those victims were going through as they waited to be rescued. The spot where the SUV
went over the side is 25 or 30 feet above the water.
The vehicle had already been removed. All that remained were some of the victims’ belongings. Blue jeans, tennis shoes and other items littered the bank as a reminder of the scary situation that played out right at dusk. It was great teamwork by rescuers that kept the tragedy where one life was lost from being much worse.