- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 26, 2001

All lanes of the Capital Beltway's Outer Loop near Andrews Air Force Base were closed yesterday afternoon after a dump truck jumped a guardrail, then became snagged its cab dangling over Suitland Parkway with the driver still inside.
James Watts, 57, was suspended in the cab, which appeared to be dangling by a thread from the rest of the truck, for 2 1/2 hours before he was pulled to safety through his driver-side window.
"With the assistance of a firefighter, he was able to pull himself up onto the bucket of the ladder truck," Prince George's Fire Department Lt. Mark Brady said.
The accident was caused when "the driver of a Buick was driving on the shoulder with a flat tire and he pulled onto the highway at a reduced speed," said Sgt. Russell Newell of the Maryland State Police Forestville Barracks.
Mr. Watts, the driver of a six-wheel, three-axle dump truck "swerved to avoid the Buick and bounded over the barrier," Sgt. Newell said.
Sgt. Newell said the accident occurred about 3:35 p.m. and the truck skidded to a halt with its cab hanging over the barrier of the bridge that carries the Outer Loop of the Beltway over the Suitland Parkway.
Rescue crews from the Prince George's County Fire Department and the state police converged on the scene about five minutes later.
A spokesman for the Prince George's Fire Department said rescue crews were concerned that the dump truck could fall onto Suitland Parkway with the driver still inside.
The dangling truck was so badly damaged crews didn't know how much of the cab was still connected to the trailer, Lt. Brady said
Rescue crews quickly commandeered a heavy-duty crane that was stuck in traffic behind the accident to secure the truck, Lt. Brady said.
Two firefighters were lowered down on a cable connected to the crane to a level next to the dangling cab to talk with Mr. Watts and give him water, he said. Other firefighters were raised from a ladder truck to talk with him.
Stuck inside the hanging cab, the Capitol Heights man told firefighters he was not injured and not in a lot of pain, Lt. Brady said.
Firefighters were finally able to secure the cab from underneath using the crane and the ladder trucks while Mr. Watts waited inside with his feet on the steering wheel and his head resting near the open driver-side window.
Firefighters extended a ladder to the truck cab and pulled him through the window. "He suffered from dehydration and an injured elbow," Lt. Brady said. He was transported to Prince George's Hospital Center for a general checkup.
Manucher Sadeghian, 76, of Bowie, the driver of the car reported to have cut the truck off, was charged with negligent driving and released, Sgt. Newell said. He was not injured.
"He said he saw the truck swerving behind him but he was unaware of what had happened and he just kept going," Sgt. Newell said.

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