Showing posts with label CBBT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CBBT. Show all posts

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Near Death Experience For Trucker On CBBT

Andy Fox
CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE-TUNNEL, (WAVY) - Two tractor trailers toppled on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) during Tuesday's line of storms. The driver of the tractor trailer left dangling over the bridge spoke to about the scary experience.

Rob Roll has been a trucker 27 years, driving three million miles. That last mile on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was nearly his last.

Did he think it was the end? "Yea, I thought it was. I thought I was going in the water," Roll said standing in front of his totaled tractor trailer in the back lot of Tidewater Express in Hampton.

He had good reason to think he was going in the water because he was teetering on the rail with a long fall below.

It began as he was traveling through the bridge-tunnel toll on the Eastern Shore headed to Virginia Beach.

"I have a weather alert on my CB, and I heard from the National Weather Service there were thunderstorms and I was a mile from the toll bridge...they give you areas that are going to be bad, and they said at 5:15 p.m. Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and it was only 4:25 p.m.," Roll said. He thought he could make it.

At 4:27 p.m. Roll went through the toll. "I said to the kid who was giving the height permit, 'Am I going to get across?' and he said, 'The storm's a long ways away yet,'" Roll remembered.

Roll said, "I start going across and everything is clear. I could see the City of Norfolk [Virginia Beach] and it was crystal clear. When I get on the second island and the second bridge, it was a wall of white like a building was coming across the water and it was coming fast."

It was coming fast all over Hampton Roads, and at 4:34 p.m., another truck overturned. About the same time Roll noticed an alert on the bridge tunnel.

"The police called an alert which changed the lights from green to yellow. I got yellow flashing lights, but I was too far beyond that, and I was trying to get to the tunnel where I'd be safe," Roll added.
Roll didn't make it. At 4:42 p.m. Roll said he found himself in a bad place.

"The first gust moved my truck to the left. The second head on gust shook the truck. The third gust sent me into the rail...the whole event took 30 seconds....I don't really remember anything because it was happening so quickly...Now, I'm stuck. I know I'm in a bad spot, and I'm still on the bridge. I know I'm okay, I'm not in the water, I'm stuck, and all I can see is a guard rail out through he window and that's all I can see," Roll remembered.

Concerns were racing through Roll's mind as he waited for help. "I'm thinking, okay, is this going to catch on fire? I got diesel fuel on board," he said.

At 4:45 p.m. Roll got his regular call from his wife back in New York.

"I said I had a wreck, rolled on one side, and I have to get back in touch with you because I don't know what's going on yet," Roll said.

Then the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Police showed up. The officer crawled on top, Rob stood up in the cab, and unlocked the door. The officer opened the door from above, and Rob scampered out.

Thankfully he is not seriously hurt. He was staying at an Oceanfront hotel, but his company is picking him up and taking him back to New York.