TUKWILA — A semi tractor-trailer full of frozen fish crashed through a guardrail Wednesday afternoon and landed in the Duwamish River, and the driver survived thanks to some help from a good Samaritan.
The driver, a man known only as Key, was heading from Tacoma to the Port of Seattle on SR 99 when he evidently lost control of his truck and barreled through the guardrail and into the river.
At the same time, a respiratory therapist named Jereme Lane happened to be driving home to see his kids. When he saw the wreck, Lane stopped to see if he could help.
“I asked somebody if somebody was still inside,” he said. “I noticed him banging the skylight out, and no one else was running into the river so I took off my jacket and jumped in.”
Lane made it to the truck and was able to bring Key to safety, though he said the two “half drowned each other on the way in.”
Despite the inherent danger involved in the rescue, Lane said it was something he just had to do.
“I knew it was the right thing to do,” he said. “So when you gotta do the right thing, you do the right thing.”
The Washington State Department of Transportation is conducting an investigation into what caused the crash, though they said the driver did hit the brakes just before smashing into the guardrail.
Representatives from the trucking company said the driver, who is a U.S. Military veteran from Ethiopia, was cold but didn’t go to the hospital.
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