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Kentucky hero who saved semi-truck driver who was dangling from bridge identified

Following the harrowing rescue of a semi-truck driver who was stuck dangling over the Clark Memorial Bridge in Kentucky, the city’s fire chief praised the first responders for their daring rescue.

“All the credit goes right here,” Louisville Fire Chief Brian O’Neill said in a press conference Friday. “These are some serious heroes. This was some really professional, well-practiced, well-trained stuff.”

“These men and women make me so proud,” O’Neill said. “This motivates the heck out of me every day.”

The firefighter who rappelled down to the driver and carried her to safety was identified as 29-year-old Bryce Carden, who specializes in high-angle rescues.


“This guy is probably one of the nicest, happiest guys that you’ll ever want to meet in your life, and he is the exact right person to put down there to try to keep that patient calm,” O’Neill said, speaking of Carden.

O’Neill said that this is a “once in a career” type of rescue.

“This is very much a worse case scenario and something that you don’t expect to happen,” he said. “This is a once in a career kind of thing.”


Carden said that he was not nervous because he knew that his team had his back and that the woman was calm and collected. 

“I was not nervous at all going over the edge because I knew that they had me on the top side. Once I reached her, she was super calm, collected and helped me do what I needed to do to get her to safety, essentially. And it all worked out for the best, and we’ll go back to quarters and get ready to do it again if we have to,” he said.

She was praying a lot, and I was praying right there with her.

— Bryce Carden, Louisville Fire Department


“She was praying a lot, and I was praying right there with her,” he added.

Bryce Carden

Carden said this rescue operation “tops” everything else he has done so far in his career. 

“We’ve definitely done a few crazy things, but yes, this tops it so far. Like I said, we trained for this situation probably a hundred times, but they actually put it in action. It felt good,” Carden said.

The initial crash was reported around 12:15 local time on Friday afternoon. 

The truck was moving northbound on the bridge when it apparently crossed the lane and crashed through the bridge’s guardrail, according to local reports. 

Dramatic video showed Carden being lowered to the semi truck from a ladder in order to lift the female driver to safety. 

Louisville bridge rescue caught on camera

The trailer of the truck could be seen wedged against the beams of the bridge, stopping it from falling into the water below. The hood of the truck also popped open and could be seen hanging from the truck’s cab.

In addition to the semi, three other vehicles – two passenger vehicles and a pickup truck – were involved in the wreck. Two people in one of those vehicles were also taken to the University of Louisville Hospital.

The bridge remained closed following the rescue.

The bridge was built in 1929. It’s four lanes, two in each direction, with a speed limit of 35 mph.

Fox News’ Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.

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