***Warning: The video above is disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.***
CLEVEAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained video showing how an SUV flew out of control, flipped, and smashed through a fence, finally coming to a stop hanging over a bridge above the Innerbelt.
Police say the driver was killed in the crash Tuesday afternoon, and the video shows how close this came to turning into a disaster on the highway below.
On the video released by the Ohio Department of Transportation, you see an SUV jump the median and careen across East 22nd. The vehicle then takes out a utility pole, flips and smashes partially through a fence on the bridge.
A witness called 911 to say, “We have a really bad car crash right by East 22 and Cedar. Guy might be dead inside the car.”
The crash killed the driver, a 45 year old Cleveland man, and the incident shut down part of the freeway.
So, how did it happen?
A second camera angle shows the driver on the wrong side of the road suddenly going over the median. Police say that driver had been going the wrong way and speeding.
No one got hurt below because the fence on the bridge held up.
The state calls it vandal fencing. It’s put up on bridges over a lot of busy highways to make it hard for someone to just throw something down onto traffic.
It’s not built specifically to hold back a vehicle, but this fencing did just that.
“Certainly, the fact it was able to catch that vehicle and keep it from going down the interstate was a bonus.” ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning said. “Safety is obviously priority number one for us and making sure everyone on top of the bridge and under the bridge is safe.”
We saw the danger even getting the car off of that fence and tracked down the tow truck operator.
“I operate a 50-ton rotator, so the weight of the vehicle was not an issue. Getting close enough to lift it safely off the fence, keep it off the highway and then be able to move it to a safe location, all that can be done without moving the truck,” said Jeff West with Kufner’s Towing.
The ODOT video shows exactly what happened. Now, Cleveland Police are trying to figure out why it happened. Police tell us they suspect alcohol or drugs may have played a role.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner is doing follow-up testing and investigating.