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Driver released after being trapped under an overturned 18-wheeler for three hours in Central

CENTRAL – A driver was released in “the longest and most complex rescue operation in decades” after being pinned under an overturned 18-wheeler on Hooper Road in Central Friday evening.

The accident occurred on Hooper Road between Devall Road and Greenwell Springs Road, causing the road to be closed at the time. The truck tore down power lines and utility poles.

According to Central Police, the driver was not seriously injured, but EBR EMS and Acadian AirMed responded to assist with patient care and transportation.

“I want to thank CPD, the EBRSO, EMS, Entergy, the volunteers and the AirMed pilots,” said Mayor Wade Evans. “I know people were upset because the power was out, but it was a tragic accident. I’m thankful the man escaped with his life. Central has some very good first responders.”

First responders spent nearly three hours rescuing the man who followed. Members of the Central Fire Department say getting the driver out of the truck safely was their main priority.

“It was basically like opening all your Christmas presents with tweezers,” said training officer Cody Gately. “Complex isn’t even the word I would use to describe it. If we’re talking long, in these incidents it typically takes 10 to 15 minutes to get someone out of a normal passenger vehicle that’s stuck,” Gately said.

Officials say they are grateful this incident did not end in tragedy.

“This is an example of special rescue teams being able to come together to accomplish a goal when things go a little off the beaten path. I am beyond grateful for the relationship we have with other agencies,” he said.

Officials said the cause of the wreck remains under investigation.