Troopers: Driver, semi suctioned at bottom of Lake Texoma

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MEAD, Okla. (KXII) -- Four days after the double fatality here on the Roosevelt Bridge, Oklahoma Troopers told News 12 they're still running into several problems.

"We just want a win, we really hope something goes our way," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Lt. Scott Hampton. "All the workers have been working their rears off they've been here around the clock."

A semi carrying paint collided with a passenger car on the bridge Thursday, killing both drivers. The semi then smashed through the guardrail sinking 50 feet to the bottom of Lake Texoma.

"The driver is still in the cab," Lt. Hampton said. "We have divers confirm that there is no possible way of extricating at that depth and so we have to get the semi to rise before that can take place."

Since the crash, OHP said divers have been trying to attach airbags to the semi in an attempt to float it to the surface, but that hasn't worked.

"The suction that has taken place between the bottom of the lake bed and the semi has to be broken loose before we can get some good headway with it," Lt. Hampton said.

And troopers said they can't park a crane on the bridge due to weight and safety concerns, so now their best bet is to use more airbags and pull the semi from the bank.

Lt. Hampton also added that with only six divers working constantly, they're also fighting fatigue.

"The depth of the water at depth only allows divers a certain amount of time at depth before they have to come up and rehab," Lt. Hampton said.

On top of that, recent storms have also delayed recovery.

"It's just heartbreaking, just terrible for the families," said Kingston resident Cathy Abbott. "Get the man out, let the truck stay, just get the man out."

Troopers hope to successfully bring that semi up to the surface by the end of Monday.



 
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