SEATTLE -- State patrol said the driver of a semi-truck that plunged into the Duwamish River Wednesday night appeared to have fallen asleep at the wheel.
A passerby who spotted the truck from the road jumped into the frigid water and rescued the driver.
I noticed him just trying to bang out the skylight and (I) just dove in, said Jereme Lane, Good Samaritan.
The driver was not seriously hurt, but the crash kept road and Department of Ecology crews busy through the night.
Crews spent hours pulling the semi-truck from the water. At first they thought they could move the semi with tow trucks, but it was too heavy. So they brought in a crane.
With the crane perched above the river, workers watched to see if the second attempt to lift the big rig would be successful. Around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, the trailer, which was filled with frozen fish, was lifted out of the river. Crews spent the next three hours lifting the cab of the semi out of the river and onto solid ground.
The crash prompted the Department of Ecology to check the health of the Duwamish River.
We were concerned about a possible diesel fuel spill from the saddle tank on the truck, said Curt Hart with the Washington Department of Ecology. We estimated that could've been about 60 gallons that could have been released, but nothing was released from the saddle tank. We were glad for that.
Hart said a small amount of engine oil did leak into the river, but crews were successful in containing it.
Washington State Patrol was continuing to investigate the crash.